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Crafting the Ballets Russes: Music, Dance, Design—The Robert Owen Lehman Collection

Robinson McClellan, Lynn Garafola
144 pages
8 1/2 x 11 inches

A fresh look at the groundbreaking artistic collaborations of the Ballets Russes, illuminated by a rich trove of visual material including music manuscripts, dance notations, stage and costume designs, and photographs of performers.

Crafting the Ballets Russes: Music, Dance, Design—The Robert Owen Lehman Collection celebrates one of the world’s finest private gatherings of music manuscripts, held on deposit at the Morgan Library & Museum. Robert Owen Lehman’s superb collection of French and Russian ballet scores of the early twentieth century, including Firebird, Petrouchka, Afternoon of a Faun, Bolero, and many more, are shown here for the first time alongside vivid stage designs and rarely seen choreographic notations.

Published to accompany a 2024 centennial exhibition at the Morgan, this catalogue presents novel insights into Serge Diaghilev’s famed Ballets Russes troupe, the main influence behind revitalizing ballet in Paris during the 1910s and ’20s. The book features works of the original creators behind the Ballets Russes’ enduring ballets, including those of composers Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel, choreographers Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Bronislava Nijinska, and designers Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, and Natalia Goncharova. Essays and illustrations by the Morgan’s music manuscripts curator Robinson McClellan and dance historian Lynn Garafola further examine the unique creative partnerships between these artists and how they spurred a new international era of modern ballet.

Published by the Morgan Library & Museum in association with D Giles Limited

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