René Blum and the Théâtre de Monte-Carlo (1924–1931)

Judith Chazin-Bennahum

in René Blum and the Ballets Russes

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399332
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897025 | DOI:
René Blum and the Théâtre de Monte-Carlo (1924–1931)

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This chapter surveys Blum’s progress as an innovator in programming for Monte Carlo’s chic and audacious audiences. He especially favored high comedy, almost always with music, and evenings of film with orchestra as entertainment. The chapter reviews the many productions that Blum brought to the Théâtre de Monte-Carlo, including operettas, serious drama, and touring dance companies. Beginning with a brief look at the history and ambience of Monte Carlo, the chapter examines Blum’s friendship with Serge Diaghilev when the Ballets Russes came to Monte Carlo. It tells of the deep respect with which playwrights regarded Blum, as he produced, from 1924 to 1935, some 140 divergent and often challenging plays, including those by Pirandello, Coolus, Dumas, Bernstein, Hoffmanstal, and Tristan Bernard, with 40 new works in English, several by George Bernard Shaw. The chapter cites the choreographers whom Blum promoted, such as the Sakaroffs, Loie Fuller, Ida Rubenstein, and Boris Kniaseff. He also helped to organize an international exposition that brought the decorative arts to Paris from all over world. The chapter looks at Blum’s hiring of the Paris Opéra ballet company for a season, and recounts the way in which Blum brought back the Ballets Russes to Monte Carlo after Serge Diaghilev’s death, hiring many of its dancers and the ballet master Serge Grigoriev, and his partnership with Colonel de Basil.

Keywords: Monte Carlo; Theatre director; film; comedy; operetta; proponent of Shaw; Diaghilev; Loie Fuller; modernist dancers; Serge Grigoriev; Colonel de Basil

Chapter.  12170 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Dance

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