Les Ballets Russes - film footage found!
February 02, 2011
The Ballets Russes on stage during their first visit to the Fêtes des Narcisses when they danced Les Sylphides and Aurora’s Wedding (which is shown in this photograph). source- V&A Museum
The film won't embed, but do click this link to British Pathe to see film.
This is the only known footage of the Ballets Russes, the most exciting dance company of the 20th Century. Impresario Serge Diaghilev was adamant that no films be made of his ballets. This is a rehearsal of Les Sylphides, 1928 at the Fetes des Narcisses at Montreux, Switzerland. Serge Lifar dancing the lead.
see also THIS blog from the V&A museum curator Jane Pritchard:
What we see is I believe the June 1928 Festival (the topiary arch indicates this is the Ballets Russes second visit to Montreux when they danced Les Sylphides, Cimarosiana and the Polovtsian dances from Prince Igor). I believe that Serge Lifar was dancing the lead role – sometimes referred to as the poet. No doubt the long wig worn confused the cataloguer to suggest ‘One female dancer (representing Narcissus?)’.
See also this from the Ballets Russes exhibition website at the Victoria & Albert Museum