Ida Rubinstein  (1880 - 1960)

Ida Rubinstein was a dancer, and later an impresario. She danced with the Ballets Russes, appearing in Cleopatra in their first Paris season in 1909. She choreographed and appeared in Le martyre du Saint Sébastien, with music by Debussy, in 1911, and used her large fortune to present other productions involving theatre, music, and dance.

She was a major figure in French ballet in the 1920s, and commissioned works from many leading composers, usually appearing in them herself. In 1928 she formed her own company, Les ballets Ida Rubinstein. (See Nichols [2002] pp.165-172.)

From Ravel she commissioned a ballet originally to be called Fandango; it became Boléro, and she produced it and danced in it in her 1928 season. She also presented La Valse for the first time as a ballet in 1929, after it had been previously rejected by Diaghilev.

During Ravel's last years of illness, Ida Rubinstein showed him great kindness; she arranged his trip to Spain and Morocco with Léon Leyritz in 1935. (See Long [1973], pp.26-33)