Hoppé’s interest in Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1909-1929) was predicated on his overall proclivity for ballet as an art form, which he cultivated throughout his life. Hoppé began his work with Diaghilev’s dancers just as he turned to professional photography and in the wake of the company’s first visit to London in the summer of 1911. His affiliation with the Ballets Russes began in earnest after he was designated by Diaghilev to chronicle the company’s London productions. Subsequently, photographing Ballets Russes dancers over a period of more than two decades, Hoppé compiled an impressive visual record of their roles and costumes. This documentation of the Ballets Russes constitutes an integral part of Hoppé’s overall collection and is indeed one of the most fascinating and distinctive records of the famous Russian ballet company.
One Hundred Photographs: E.O. Hoppé and the Ballets Russes, essays by John Bowlt and Oleg Minin (2012)