Original Ballet Russe
The Original Ballet Russe (originally named Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo) was a ballet company established in 1932 by René Blum and Colonel Wassily de Basil as a successor to the Ballets Russes. The company assumed the new name Original Ballet Russe after a split between de Basil and Blum. De Basil led the renamed company, while Blum and others founded a new company under the name, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
The end of Diaghilev's Ballet Russe 
The company's name is derived from the Ballets Russes of impresario Sergei Diaghilev. The last season of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes was in 1929, during which it toured and performed in both London, England, and Paris, France. During the final season, it produced the new ballets The Prodigal Son and Le Bal. The company performed for the final time in London at the Covent Garden Theatre on July 26, 1929. Diaghliev died a month later, on August 19, 1929, of diabetes.
Massine and Balanchine join Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo 
In 1932, with the help from financier Serge Denham, René Blum and Colonel Vassili de Basil formed the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. The idea was to create a ballet company that would continue the work and legacy of the late Serge Diaghilev. The company hired George Balanchine and Leonide Massine to act as choreographers. The majority of the works performed were ones previously staged by Diaghilev's company.
The managers dropped Balanchine after one year because they found that audiences preferred Diaghilev's and Messine's ballets. The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo struggled financially and almost declared bankruptcy during the Great Depression. Sol Hurok, an American, took over the management of the company in 1934, and brought the company to the United States.
The company splits 
Col. de Basil and Blum had an acrimonious relationship, which ended with Blum breaking up the partnership and leaving with Massine. Together Blum and Massine formed their own company, and recruited several dancers from their previous group. Blum and Massine also called their company Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo.
At the start of Blum and Massine's company, Massine ran into trouble with Col. de Basil. Massine realized that the ballets which he choreographed while under contract with Col. de Basil were owned by his company. Taking legal action, Massine sued Col. de Basil in London for the intellectual property rights to his works and also tried to claim the name of the company. The jury decided that Col. de Basil owned the ballets. The court ruled that both successor companies could use the name Ballet Russe, but only one could use de Monte Carlo. The courts ruled in favor of Massine regarding the name. Col. de Basil finally settled on the Original Ballet Russe.
Two Ballets Russe 
The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Original Ballet Russe often performed near each other. Sol Hurok, manager of the Original Ballet Russe, decided to manage Blum and Massine's company as well. He hoped to reunite the companies, but he was unsuccessful. In 1938, both the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Original Ballet Russe performed in London within blocks of each other.  Hurok continued to have the companies perform near each other. After London, Hurok booked both of the companies to perform seasons in New York, for a total of fifteen weeks, making it the longest ballet season of New York. Along with management, the two companies also shared dancers.
During World War II 
The Original Ballet Russe did extensive touring throughout Europe and Australia. Soon after they returned to the United States in 1938, World War II broke out. The company suffered financially, but they were able to book an entire cast of dancers on tour to Havana, Cuba, in 1941. They could not pay the dancers adequately, some of whom took second jobs in nightclubs to survive. Principal dancers were forced to take roles that were not solos. While in Cuba, David Lichine and Tatiana Leskova appeared in Conga Pantera at the Cabaret Tropicana. Alberto Alonso and his first wife Patricia Denise danced all the principal roles on the Havana tour. Other dancers included Tamara Grigorieva, Nina Verchinina, Anna Leontieva, Genevieve Moulin, Tatiana Leskova, Anna Volkova, Your Lazowski, Dimitri Romanoff, Roman Jasinski, Paul Petroff, and Oleg Tupin.
- 1941 Havana tour
In 1947, the Original Ballet Russes gave its last season in London before disbanding. The company was revived in 1951 by family members, G. Kirsta and the Grigrievs, after Col. de Basil died. The company proved to be financially unstable, and folded while on tour in Europe in 1952.
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