The Camargo Ballet Society

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The Camargo Society (as it is usually known, although the name appears in early programmes as the Camargo Ballet Society) was founded in London in 1930 to further the development of British ballet. P.J.S. Richardson and Arnold Haskell first put forward the idea of a subscription-based enterprise, which won the support of Edwin Evans who became its chairman, and the economist John Maynard Keynes who assumed the role of treasurer. The Society facilitated the creation of new English ballets, and its first subscription performance took place on 19 October 1930 at the Cambridge Theatre, London, with ballets by Adeline Genée, Nicolas Legat, Ninette de Valois and Frederick Ashton. The dancers for these and later performances came mainly from the fledgling companies of de Valois and Marie Rambert, led by prominent dancers such as Anton Dolin, Alicia Markova, Lydia Lopokova and Olga Spessivtseva. New music and design were commissioned from established and rising British artists, such as Vaughan Williams, Constant Lambert, Edward Burra, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, among many others. De Valois’ Job (1931) and Création du monde (1931), Ashton’s Façade (1931) and Antony Tudor’s Adam and Eve (1932) were created under the auspices of the Society, which also enabled the first British productions of Giselle and Swan Lake, Act II. After two gala performances at Covent Garden in the summer of 1933 the Society was dissolved, its aims having been achieved. Many of its ballets subsequently entered the repertoire of the Vic-Wells Ballet. Bibl.: J. Percival, ‘The Camargo [Ballet] Society’, Dance and Dancers (Jan/Mar. 1961).

From the guide to the The Camargo Ballet Society Collection, 1927-1936, (The Royal Ballet School, White Lodge Museum)

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creatorOf The Camargo Ballet Society Collection, 1927-1936 The Royal Ballet School, White Lodge Museum
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associatedWith Baylis, Lilian., 1874-1937 person
associatedWith de Valois, Ninette., 1898-2001 person
associatedWith Keynes, John Maynard., 1883-1946 person
associatedWith Lopokova, Lydia., 1891-1981 person
associatedWith The Carmargo Ballet Society, 1930-1933 corporateBody
associatedWith World Economic Conference, 1933 corporateBody
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