Le Beau Danube
Backdrop for Leonide Massine's Le Beau Danube
The Ballet Russe Collection
One-act ballet, choreography and libretto by Leonide
Music by Johann Strauss.
Decor by Etienne de Beaumont.
Premiere: Paris, May 17, 1924, at the Soiree de Paris du Comte
Etienne de Beaumont.
This ballet was one of the few Massine ballets in the repertoire
of the rival company to the Ballet Russe, Colonel Blum's
Original Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, to which the
choreographer had full rights, and Le Beau Danube was thus
one of the first ballets brought by Massine to the Ballet Russe
when he joined the company in 1938. It became immediately very
popular in America, and remained in the repertoire for a long time
"A character comedy, the ballet is set in the Vienna Prater of
the 1860s, where a dapper Hussar, engaged to the elder daughter of
a noble family, is surprised by the sudden appearance of his former
mistress, a street dancer."
Horst Koegler, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of
"Gaite's sole rival in popularity is probably Le
Beau Danube, and, because both are frothy ballets in an
operetta style, they are often compared."
Jack Anderson, The One and Only: The Ballet Russe de Monte
The backdrop is the only piece remaining in the collection of
the Butler Ballet.