The First Season


Anton Arensky(1861-1906). Printed piano score for the ballet La Nuit d’Égypte. Serge Grigoriev Papers. b MS Thr 465 (216). Purchased with the Howard D. Rothschild Fund, 1995.

La Nuit d’Égypte

This ballet was first produced in 1908 at the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The principal roles were danced by Anna Pavlova, Pavel Gerdt, Olga Preobajenska, and the young Vaslav Nijinsky. In the next year, Arensky’s score (augmented by music by other composers) formed the basis of an expanded version of the ballet, called Cléopâtre, which formed a part of Diaghilev’s first season in Paris. Pavlova and Nijinsky were joined by Ida Rubinstein in the title role and by Michel Fokine, who also created the choreography.