Ida Rubinstein as Cleopatra
Design by Léon Baskt 1909
Ida Rubenstein from American Examiner 1913
Ida Rubinstein: Dancer & Impressario
A young Russian protegé of Léon Baskt, Mikhial Fokine and Serge Diaghilev. She became her own producer in Paris, commissioning Ravel's Bolero, and running hospitals for French soldiers in two world wars.
Ida Rubinstein as Helene de Sparte 1912
Helene de Sparte, Act IV
Design by Léon Baskt 1912

Bert Christensen's Cyberspace Gallery
We invite you to learn about Ida's incredible life and art -- follow the links below:
Introduction: During the mid-1990's, I found an old yellowed newspaper page on the fringes of an otherwise undistinguished garage sale in Spokane, Washington. It had two large pictures of an elaborately costumed personality from the Paris theatrical scene in 1912 ...
.. 1885-1908: Ida Rubinstein is raised among the extraordinarily wealthy Russian aristocracy in St. Petersburg...she arranges a meeting with theatrical designer and artist Léon Baskt ... meets Mikhial Fokine who creates a version of the legendary Dance of the Seven Veils for herself -- playing Salome.
1909: Fokine convinces Serge Diaghilev to take her to Paris with the new Ballets Russes company where she dances the title role in Cléopâtre.
Nijinsky and Rubinstein
1910: She matches her success the next season when she dances with Vaslav Nijinsky in Scheherazade, in a cast which includes Anna Pavlova. She is the toast of Paris at the height of La Belle Epoch -- which is also the summit of her artistic climb.
1911: She parts ways with Diaghilev to be an impressario on her own with Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien in 1911 -- written by the decadent Italian poet Gabrielle D'Annunzio, with music by Claude Debussy
St. Sebastien
. 1912-1914: A series of spectacular productions starring Ida Rubinstein dazzle the city of Paris, including Helene de Sparte, a new production of Salome, and La Pisanelle, yet another collaboration with Gabrielle D'Annunzio.
Helene de Sparte
Red Cross
Ida Rubinstein turns the Carlton Hotel into a hospital for wounded Allied soldiers
. She is also a model for several high-society artists and makes friends with Sarah Bernhardt
Le Idiote
1920-1928: Ida presents Antonine et Cleopatre in 1920. New works follow by D'Annunzio and others.
She achieves new respect as a dramatic actress with productions of Dumas' La Dames aux Cam
élias and Dostoyevsky's Le Idiote.
1928-1934: She forms her own dance company -- The Ida Rubinstein Ballet. Her seasons of 1928 and 1929 are particularly ambitious and important -- especially because of Maurice Ravel's Bolero and La Valse.
Ida commissions more plays, and becomes a Catholic
. She flees to London via Casablanca, spending WWII caring for Free French troops. Her home in Paris is destroyed by the Nazis.
7 Place des Unis-Etats
Credited images used by permission. Public Domain images are used freely under provisions of International law.
All Rights Reserved © Michael R. Evans 2007  Email Me