Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Lecture "Once Upon a Ballet: Russia's Classic Fairy Tales and the Ballets Russes" by Dr. Thomas Garza

Wed, September 16, 2009 | Tom Lea Room, Harry Ransom Center 3.206

11:30 AM


The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, The Department of Theatre and Dance,

The Harry Ransom Center, and Ballet Austin present:

Once Upon A Ballet: Russia‘s Classic 

Fairy Tales and the Ballets Russes

2009 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Ballets Russes by Sergei Diaghilev. In 

September 2009, CREEES will celebrate the centennial of this milestone in cultural history with a symposium of events featuring films, talks, discussions, and an exhibition of original costumes and scene designs. 

Dr. Thomas J. Garza

In creating some of the most opulent productions of the Ballets Russes, its musical and artistic directors turned to Russia's rich tradition of the literary fairytale as source material. Borrowing from several of Pushkin's and Zhukovsky’s reworkings of traditional folk motifs, Diaghilev's company transformed the stage into a fantastic world, adding the aural and kinetic elements of music and dance to the tales. From early productions, such as “The Firebird” (1910) and “The Golden Cockerel” (1914), to later performances like “The Sleeping Princess” (1921), the creative genius of composers Stravisnky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Tchaikovsky, choreographers Fokine and Petipa, and designers Bakst and Golovin reimagined motifs and themes of Russian fairytales as artistic creations for the New Century.

September 16 


Tom Lea Room,

Harry Ransom Center 3.206

Léon Bakst: Costume design for principal female dancer in Firebird, 1910

Attendees at these Ballets Russes events will have the opportunity to enter a drawing to win two tickets to the Ballet Austin Season Opener of The Firebird and Swan Lake (Act II). The drawing will be held after the final film screening on September 24. Thanks to Ballet Austin for the generous donation!

For more information, please contact Allegra Azulay at (512) 471-7782 or

Visit the CREEES calendar for more Ballets Russes-related films, exhibits, and Ballet Austin performances.

View the Lecture Poster



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