The Dandre-Levitoff Russian Ballet, which toured Australia from late 1934 to early 1935, was directed by Victor Dandre in conjunction with the impresario Alexander Levitoff. Dandre was Anna Pavlova's manager and this new company, formed after her death in 1931, featured a number of dancers from the earlier Pavlova company. The Dandre-Levitoff Ballet was brought to Australia by the J C Williamson organisation, and performed here as the 'Russian Ballet Company' and the 'Russian Classical Ballet'. Notable dancers included Olga Spessivtseva (billed as Olga Spessiva in Australia), Anatole Vilzak, Natasha Bojkovich, Stanley Judson, Dimitri Rostoff, Raisse Kouznetsova (appearing as Raia Kuznetzova), Algeranoff and Leon Kellaway (appearing as Jan Kowsky). The latter three settled in Australia at different times after the tour. The company's ballet master was the Russian Pavel (Paul) Nicholaievitch Petroff (not to be confused with the Danish Paul Petroff who became a principal Ballets Russes dancer).
The Australian repertoire of the Dandre-Levitoff company consisted of eleven ballets and numerous divertissements drawn mainly from the Pavlova company and Imperial Russian repertory. The first performance took place at His Majesty's theatre Brisbane on October 10, 1934, and comprised La Fille mal Gardee with Bojkovich as Lise, Swan Lake Act II with Spessivtseva and Vilzak in the lead roles, Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, and a selection of divertissements. The company went on to perform in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Programs included the Australian premieres of Le Carnaval and Raymonda as well as Les Sylphides, The Magic Flute, Pavel Petroff's Promenade and Venusburg, two ballets by Ivan Clustine - Egyptian Ballet and Visions, and a number of divertissements including a suite of dances from Coppelia. Spessitseva's mental health deteriorated during this tour, and her final Australian performance on 28 November 1934 was one of her last public appearances.
The Dandre-Levitoff Russian Ballet tour ended in Perth, where it was presented by entrepreneur Benjamin Fuller as the 'Russian Classical Ballet' . The final Australian performance took place on January 19, 1935.
Further information on the Dandre-Levitoff Australian tour is available at the website 'Michelle Potter on dancing'.
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This collection includes programs for the Dandre-Levitoff Russian Ballet's seasons in all cities in which they appeared in Australia. The seasons featured several dancers who were associated with Australia through prior and subsequent tours, and some of whom settled in Australia, including Algeranoff, Anatole Vilzak, Dimitri Rostoff, Raia Kouznetsova and Jan Kowsky (Leon Kellaway). The collection is housed under the title Russian Ballet Company [Dandre-Levitoff Russian Ballet].