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René Blum and the Ballets Russes$
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Judith Chazin-Bennahum

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195399332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399332.001.0001

Blum Brings Michel Fokine into the Fold

Chapter:
(p.154) Chapter 8 Blum Brings Michel Fokine into the Fold
Source:
René Blum and the Ballets Russes
Author(s):

Judith Chazin-Bennahum

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399332.003.0008

This chapter recounts the progress of Blum’s new company, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, with Michel Fokine, one of the greatest proponents of modern ballet as its master choreographer, along with many of his talented former dancers. It relates the succession of economic crises as well as the general political turmoil that European countries were experiencing while artists and ballet companies struggled to keep afloat. The chapter describes Fokine’s new ballets for Blum—L’Épreuve d’Amour, Don Juan, and Les Elfes—and audiences’ reactions both in Monte Carlo and on tour to Europe and South Africa. The chapter also reveals how Fokine reclaimed some of his fame as a dance maker with the Blum company. It details the travails that Blum endured as he desperately tried to find funds to keep his company alive as the devastating Depression was soon to assault the European continent. Arguing that Blum still maintained an amicable relationship with Fokine, the chapter ends with new developments: the sale of Blum’s company to wealthy Americans, Serge Denham and Jules Fleischmann, and the passing back of the lead choreographer’s baton from Fokine to Leonide Massine.

Keywords:   Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Michel Fokine, audience reaction, critical reaction, European tour, South African tour, Depression, political turmoil, Serge Denham, Jules Fleischmann

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