Guide to the Royal Danish Ballet Photograph Album on the Premiere of Giselle

Processed by Cyndi Shein; machine-readable finding aid created by Cyndi Shein
Special Collections and Archives
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Phone: (949) 824-3947
Fax: (949) 824-2472
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Royal Danish Ballet photograph album on the premiere of Giselle
Date: 1946
Collection Number: MS-P072
Creator: Kongelige Danske ballet
Extent: 0.9 linear feet (1 box and 1 oversized folder)
Languages: The collection is in Danish.
Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Abstract: The collection comprises a photograph album created by the Royal Danish Ballet and presented to visiting Russian choreographer Alexandre Volinine. The album commemorates the company's premiere of Giselle on November 10-11, 1946, staged in Copenhagen by Volinine. Giselle, featuring the company's principle ballerina, Margot Lander, was one of the company's most successful runs of the decade.

Important Information for Researchers


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Royal Danish Ballet photograph album on the premiere of Giselle. MS-P072. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 2007.

Processing History

Processed by Cyndi Shein, 2007.

Historical Background

The Royal Danish Ballet evolved from Danish theater and traces its roots to the 1748 opening of Denmark's Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. The ballet company experienced its greatest success and growth under the direction of three noteworthy masters, Vicenzo Galeotti (1775-1816), Auguste Bournonville (1830-1877), and Harald Lander (1932-1951). Galeotti increased the number of dancers in the company, introduced Denmark to an international repertory, developed native dancers and composers, and staged popular ballets. Bournonville's reign is often called the "Golden Age." He was the principle male dancer until 1848 and built a rich and diverse repertory. A century later, Harald Lander revived and modernized the faltering company. During the 1930s and 1940s he nurtured and showcased talented dancers such as Margot Lander and Borge Ralov and brought in internationally acclaimed choreographers such as the Russian Alexandre Volinine.
Giselle, staged by Volinine in 1946, was one of the Royal Danish Ballet's most successful runs of the decade. The ballet featured lead dancers Margot Lander and Borge Ralov. Lander danced the title role and her performance earned her the Teaterpokalen great performance trophy awarded by the dance critics of Copenhagen.


Aschengreen, E. "Royal Danish Ballet." The International Encyclopedia of Dance. Ed. Selma Jeanne Cohen and the Dance Perspectives Foundation. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The collection comprises a photograph album created by the Royal Danish Ballet and presented to visiting Russian choreographer, Alexandre Volinine. The album commemorates the company's premiere of Giselle on November 10-11, 1946, which was staged in Copenhagen by Volinine. It is inscribed to Volinine and signed on behalf of the Chief of the Royal Theatre by Hennings Rahde (secretary) and S. Bertholdt (head administrator). The first photograph is a portrait of the company with Volinine, signed by the photographer, [Rigmor] Mydtskov. All other photographs are of the dancers during the performance. Inserted in the album were duplicate photographs and a Kongelige Teatre (Royal Theatre) house program for the 1946-47 season. Also included are two broadsides advertising the 1946 performances of the Royal Danish Ballet, one of them inscribed from the dance master, Harald Lander, to Volinine.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged by type of material.

Processing Note

During processing, the duplicate photographs, house program, and broadsides were removed and stored separately for preservation purposes.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Giselle (Choreographic work) -- Archives.
Giselle (Choreographic work) -- Photographs.
Kogelige Danske ballet -- Archives.
Kogelige Danske ballet -- Photographs.
Volinin, Aleksandr Emel'ianovich, 1882-1955 -- Archives.
Lander, Margot, 1910-1961.

Genres and Formats of Materials

Photographic prints -- 20th century.
Photograph albums -- 20th century.
Dance programs -- 20th century.
Broadsides -- 20th century.


Ballet dancers.


Kogelige Danske ballet
Mydtskov, Rigmor, 1925- -- photographer
Volinin, Aleksandr Emel'ianovich, 1882-1955

Collection Contents

Box : 1

Photograph album 1946

Physical Description: 34 x 24 x 3 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The album contains 14 black-and-white photographs measuring approximately 7 x 10 inches each. This includes one portrait of Volinine with the ballet company and 13 photographs of the performance of Giselle. The album is bound with string and covered in red morocco-grained paper.
Box : Folder 1 : 2-3

Photographic prints 1946

Physical Description: 11 black-and-white photographs

Scope and Content Note

Photographs duplicate those in the album.
Box : Folder 1 : 1

Program for Det Kongelige Teatre for the 1946-47 season 1946

Box : Folder XOS 001

Broadsides 1946

Scope and Content Note

Contains 2 black-and-white newsprint broadsides promoting the 1946 productions of the Royal Danish ballet. One of the broadsides includes information on Giselle, and the other is inscribed from Harald Lander to Volinine.