Edward James and Les Ballets 1933 with Caroline Hamilton

Old Library

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In this illustrated talk, Caroline Hamilton will discuss her doctoral research into Les Ballets 1933, a ballet short-lived Avant-garde ballet company founded by George Balanchine and Boris Kochno with financial backing and creative input from West Dean College founder, Edward James. Read about the musical heritage and Edward James' musical patronage and collaborations between the 1930s - 1970s here.

Les Ballets 1933 was a creative collaboration involving some of the most prominent artists, composers and dancers of the time. The company can also be seen as a crucial steppingstone in the movement of ballet from Russia to Western Europe and eventually the USA with many of the members later emigrating and becoming key figures in the establishment of American ballet.

Between April and June 2019, Caroline worked with the West Dean College Archive to help catalogue Les Ballets 1933 material in the Cultural Papers. This talk will outline the significance of the material at West Dean College and demonstrate how it supports Caroline's wider PhD research at the University of Brighton.

Caroline Hamilton is a specialist in early 20th ballet and the evolution of dance costume, and initially trained as a costume maker in Canada. Most recently Caroline was a research fellow at Jacob's Pillow (Massachusetts, USA) cataloguing the archive's historic costume collection and co-curator for the exhibition Dance We Must: Treasures from Jacob's Pillow, 1906-1940.