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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 398

Alexandre Sakharoff and Clotilde Sakharoff papers


Correspondence, photographs, and other material of dance teachers Alexandre Sakharoff and Clotilde von Derp Sakharoff.


  • 1922-1970

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


4.5 linear feet (9 boxes and 1 folder)

Contains correspondence between the Sakharoffs and members of the Bernstein family, especially Leon Bernstein, who was an impresario for the Sakharoffs. Also includes a diary and a costume design by A. Sakharoff, notes by C. Sakharoff, drawings and photographs of the Sakharoffs, posters, programs, clippings in various languages, books, periodicals, and other material.

Biographical / Historical

Alexandre Sakharoff (1886-1963), a Russian dancer and teacher, and Clotilde von Derp Sakharoff (1892-1974), a German dancer and teacher, were dance partners who toured widely and developed a distinctive form and style of dance called abstract pantomine. They met in 1911 and were married in 1919. Alexandre choreographed and designed all the costumes for the team, drawing his inspiration from mythology and renaissance paintings. After World War II they went to Rome and established a school of dance in the Palazzo Doria, giving annual summer courses in Siena. Their final performance was in Paris in 1953.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Diary and personal papers
  3. III. Manuscripts by Leon Bernstein
  4. IV. Books
  5. V. Periodicals
  6. VI. Clippings
  7. VII. Programs
  8. VIII. Souvenir programs
  9. IX. Posters
  10. X. Pamphlet
  11. XI. Score
  12. XII. Libretto
  13. XIII. Miscellaneous items
  14. XIV. Photographs
  15. XV. Drawings and prints
  16. XVI. Film
  17. XVII. Ballet slippers

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Michel Bernstein; received: 1974 August.

Sakharoff, A. (Alexandre), 1886-1963. Alexandre Sakharoff and Clotilde Sakharoff papers, 1922-1970: Guide.
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.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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