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MS Thr 245

Sergeev, Nikolai, 1876-1951. Nikolai Sergeev dance notations and music scores for ballets, 1888-1944: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Thr 245
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Sergeev, Nikolai, 1876-1951.
Title: Nikolai Sergeev dance notations and music scores for ballets,
Date(s): 1888-1944,
Date(s): (bulk) 1902-1931.
Quantity: 1 collection (20 linear feet (33 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in Russian,French and English.
Abstract: Dance notations of ballets from the Mariinsky Imperial Ballet repertory, created by Nikolai Sergeev and his assistants, music scores for ballets and operas, programs, photographs and designs for ballets.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

69M-85. Purchased from C. and I.K. Fletcher, Ltd. 22 Buckingham Gate, London S.W. 1, England with the F.E. Chase Fund and Duplicate fund, 1969; received: 1969 November.


Formerly owned by Mona Inglesby, 9 Thursloe Close, London, S.W. 7.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Irina Klyagin and Jonathan Gray
The collection was originally catalogued by Suzanne Nicole Howard Currier Park in July of 1970. The material is kept in the order of the original cataloging.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.

Existence and Location of Copies:

A number of notations from this collection are available on microfilm.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Nikolai Sergeev Dance Notations and Music Scores for Ballets, 1888-1944 (MS Thr 245). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Sergeev, Nikolai, 1876-1951. Choreographic and music scores for the ballet Swan lake (fMS Thr 186)

Biographical / Historical

Nikolai Grigor´evich Sergeev [Николай Григорьевич Сергеев] was a dancer, choreographer, and régisseur of the Mariinsky Ballet from 1894 to 1918. He developed interest in dance notation around 1897, when he served as an assistant to choreographer Alexander Gorskii, who was also teacher of the theory and notation of dance at the Theatre school. Gorski had revised the system created by another Theatre school teacher, Vladimir Stepanov, in 1891. The system was used for notations of ballets from the repertory of the Mariinsky Ballet undertaken by the Directorate of the Imperial Theatres and supervised by Sergeev. When he left Russia after the October revolution, Sergeev brought the notations with him to the West. He used them between 1921 and 1951 to restage Russian ballets for European companies.


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Includes notations of ballets and dances from operas with music scores, programs of Mariinsky Ballet performances, synopses of ballets, photographs of dancers, costume and scene designs for ballets, répétiteurs on microfilm, and dance notation manuals.

Container List