The Constantine Collection contains black and white photographs and negatives taken by dance photographer Constantine (Constantine Hassalevris) documenting mostly Ballet Theatre and Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo performances and dancers from 1939 to 1951.
Biographical/historical: Dance photographer and author Constantine (born Constantine Hassalevris) was born in New York in 1913. He became a dancer, and later, a photographer of dance. He published the book Souvenir de Ballet in collaboration with Lydia Landon Grandier (Hester & Smith, 1947), as well as conducting numerous interviews and writing articles for dance publications. He also worked as an announcer for broadcasts of bullfight, also photographing them. Constantine also wrote a cookbook, Constantine Cooks the Greek Way (Ward Ritchies Press, 1962). He died in 1982 and is buried in Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California.
Content: The Constantine Collection contains black and white photographs and negatives taken by photographer Constantine (born Constantine Hassalevris), mostly documenting Ballet Theatre and Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo performances and dancers from 1939 to 1951. Also contained are photographs of dancers Carmen Amaya, La Argentinita, Tillie Losch, actress and dancer Eleanor Powell, and modern dance pioneer, Ruth St. Denis.
The photographs are mostly 5" x 7" prints. Negatives are mostly 35mm strips and 120 negatives cut into individual frames. There are also a number of 5" x 7" negatives. Some photographs are signed.
There are production and studio photographs of many noted ballet dancers such as Alexandra Danilova, André Eglevsky, Frederic Franklin, Nora Kaye, Alicia Markova, and Igor Youskevitch. Ballets especially well-represented include L'Après Midi d'un Faune, Gaîté Parisienne, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora, Swan Lake, and Les Sylphides.
Data from the original envelopes has been transcribed. Some data differ slightly between negative and print envelopes. Only entries with original envelopes marked as such and those found in a box labeled "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo" are identified as such. "Philharmonic" is written on many of the original envelopes. When it was possible to confirm the venue was the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium, it is listed. Ballet Theatre photographs and negatives are not often identified on the original envelopes.