Blum Brings Michel Fokine into the Fold

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:
Blum Brings Michel Fokine into the Fold

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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

Chapter.  7940 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Dance

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