RUBINSTEIN, IDA (1885–1960), Russian actress-dancer who won fame with Diaghilev's Russian Ballet. Born into a wealthy St. Petersburg family, she studied dance with the choreographer Michel Fokine. In the initial seasons of the Diaghilev Ballet in Paris, she created the leading roles in Fokine's Cléopâtre (1909) and Schéhérazade (1910), characterizations distinguished by her beauty and talent in mime. In 1915 she formed her own company for which she commissioned work from choreographers, writers and musicians. She also turned to serious drama and starred in new productions of the French classics. She commissioned and appeared in Boléro and La Valse, for which the music was written by the French composer Maurice Ravel. Becoming personally involved with the Italian poet-patriot Gabriele D'Annunzio, she presented his play Le Martyre de St. Sébastien, with incidental music by Debussy, in Paris and took it to other cities, including London (1931). Her last major appearance was in the premiere of the Arthur Honegger-Paul Claudel oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au B-cher, in Basle (1938).
A.L. Haskelland and M. Clarke (eds.), Ballet Annual 1901–1962 (1962), 120.
[Ravelle Brickman /
Marcia B. Siegel]