Tamara Karsavina.E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection/Provided by OOO “Iskusstvo – XXI vek” publishing house
A century ago, Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes was the major sensation of Europe’s cultural life, even sparking a legendary mass brawl at a genteel Parisian theater. Throughout the 1910s and 20s, as the company’s permanent lensman, German-born British photographer Emil Otto Hoppé
1. Mathilde Kschessinska in the role of Artemis, 1912
Russian Emperor Alexander III personally introduced the star of St. Petersburg’s ballet school Mathilde Kschessinska to his son Nicholas, the future last tsar, and soon she became his passion. Their love affair is shown in the Russian movie Mathilde.
2. Tamara Karsavina as Zhar-Ptitsa (Firebird), 1911
Karsavina was one of Hoppé’s favorite dancers. In 1902, she graduated from the Imperial Theater School and joined the Mariinsky Theater.
3. Tamara Karsavina as Zhar-Ptitsa and Adolf Bolm as Ivan Tsarevich, 1911
4. Lubov Chernysheva as Zobeid in Shahrazad, 1920
Chernysheva graduated from the Imperial Theater School of St. Petersburg, and from 1912 was one of the official dancers of Sergei Diaghilev’s troupe.
5. Lubov Chernysheva as Cleopatra, 1918
On leaving the Diaghilev company, Chernysheva became the soloist of the Monte Carlo Ballet. Together with her husband, she taught dance in the UK and Europe and had no desire to return to Russia.
6. Vera Fokine as Young Beotian, 1914
The wife of the famous choreographer Michel Fokine was the star of the Mariinsky Theater. In 1918, soon after the Russian Revolution, they left the country forever. At first, the
7. Anna Pavlova and Lavrenty Novikov during a rehearsal of the ballet The Pharaoh’s Daughter, 1923
Anna Pavlova graduated from the St.Petersburg Theater School, starring in La Bayadere and Giselle along the way, before performing at the Mariinsky Theater. She traversed the globe before air travel! She lit up stages across the U.S., India, Australia, Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, and Cuba. In Australia and New Zealand, there’s even a cake named after her.
8. Anna Pavlova performs solo Japanese dance, 1923
Most of Hoppé’s photographs were taken in his studios in London and New York. The collection features non-staged photos too, including some of Pavlova’s open-air rehearsals.
9. Olga Spessivtseva in the role of Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), 1921
Olga Spessivtseva started her career at the Mariinsky Theater in
10. Lydia Lopukhova as the Ballerina Doll, 1919
Lydia was born into a family of ballet
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