Book: Ballets Russes

October 18, 2017

The Ballets Russes is a continuous source of inspiration for Stephanie. Her grandfather Leonide Massine was a choreographer for the renowned ballet company in the early 1900s and collaborated with incredible creative minds including Picasso, composer Igor Stravinsky and costume designer Leon Bakst.

As Stephanie recalls: “I grew up on the outskirts of Paris and the top floor of our house was a dance studio where my grandfather would rehearse with his dancers. I was always in there watching and role playing. He had this huge armoire with all of the costumes from the different ballet performances — I would often play dress up with all of the hats, leotards, wrap skirts, tunics, kaftans….”

Assouline’s book Ballets Russes highlights the incredible costumes, cultural mixes, dances and color of the Ballets Russes. With over 180 illustrations, it is a visual feast and a must-see for anyone who loves design.

Above: Léon Bakst’s costume sketches for Narcisse, 1911.

Above: Léon Bakst’s costume sketch for Narcisse, 1911.

Photo: From the ballet Schéhérazade. A sketch (above left) by Léon Bakst and a photograph (above right) of Vera Fokina and Michele Fokine in Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s ballet.

Above: Schéhérazade. Costume sketches by Léon Bakst for the role of the Chief Eunuch Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s ballet, which premiered on June 4, 1910, at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra in Paris, with choreography by Michel Fokine.

Above: Photographs and drawings from Assouline’s Ballets Russes.