Colonel de Basil


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(Vassily Voskresensky; b Kaunas, 1888; d Paris, 27 Jul. 1951)

Russian ballet impresario and co-director of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Following service in the Russian Army during the First World War, the former Cossack officer began his theatrical career in Paris in 1925. He eventually became assistant to the exiled Georgian impresario Prince Zeretelli, who ran London and Paris seasons of Russian opera. In 1932 he founded the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo with René Blum, running the business side of the company and organizing its tours. An unlikely advocate for Russian ballet, he nonetheless helped to bring it to a worldwide audience through the company's exhaustive international touring. After Massine left in 1938 (Blum having departed in 1936), he continued to direct the company under several names, the most commonly used being the Original Ballet Russe. The company disbanded in 1948.

Subjects: Dance.

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