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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 465

S. L. Grigoriev papers


Compositions, contracts, business and production records, correspondence, photographs and other material representing the career of Serge Grigoriev, the régisseur of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and rehearsal director of Ballets Russes du Col. W. de Basil.


  • Creation: 1889-1972

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in Russian, French, and English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


8 linear feet (22 boxes, 13 portfolio folders in drawers)

Contains contracts and business records for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, business records for Ballets Russes du Col. W. de Basil, production records for several of Michel Fokine's ballets, programs and playbills for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and programs for several subsequent companies, drafts of Grigoriev's monograph on Ballets Russes, correspondence, photographs and other material representing Sergei Grigoriev's role in the managing of the companies.

Biographical / Historical

Sergei Leonidovich Grigoriev (1883-1968) was a Russian-born character dancer and rehearsal director, who primarily became known as the indispensable régisseur of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He served in that capacity from 1909 to 1929. His responsibilities included signing contracts with dancers, composers, artists and other personnel, organizing and conducting rehearsals, supervising numerous aspects of productions, and serving as a mediator between Diaghilev and the members of the company. After Diaghilev's death in 1929, Grigoriev served as rehearsal director for Ballets Russes du Col. W. de Basil. The company subsequently changed its name several times: to Covent Garden Ballet Russe in 1938, to Educational Ballet Russe Ltd in 1939, and to Original Ballet Russe in 1940. The company disbanded in 1952 after the death of its director. Sergei Grigoriev and his wife Lubov Tchernicheva continued working on revivals of Michel Fokine's ballets for Sadler's Wells Ballet and other companies, supervising and donating materials to the Diaghilev exhibit at the Edinburgh Festival in 1954, and supervising rehearsals of Leonide Massine's ballets. In the 1940s-1950s Grigoriev was also working on a book about Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.


Organized into the following nine series:

  1. I. The Diaghilev Ballet, 1909-1929
  2. II. Contracts and business records
  3. III. Correspondence
  4. IV. Production records
  5. V. Music scores
  6. VI. Programs
  7. VII. Photographs
  8. VIII. Newspaper clippings and magazines
  9. IX. Memorabilia

Immediate Source of Acquisition

*95-96.038. Purchased with the Howard Rothschild fund; received: 1995 November 15.

Separated Materials

Papers of Grigoriev's wife Lubov Tchernicheva were separated and processed as a separate collection. See Lubov Tchernicheva. Papers (MS Thr 464) in the Harvard Theatre Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by: Irina Klyagin

Grigoriev, S. L. (Sergei Leonidovich), 1883-1968. S. L. Grigoriev papers, 1889-1972: Guide.
Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

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