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George Volodine Papers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 22 Nov 2010

Biographical History

George Volodine (d. 1982) was a Russian-American ballet dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher.

Volodine began his career with a ballet troupe in Germany, then moved on to New York where he became the maître-de-ballet of the Metropolitan Opera Association. During his time as a dancer, Volodine created long lasting friendships with fellow dancers, including George Balanchine, Maria Tallchief, Tanaquil LeClercq, and others. After his time as maître-de-ballet he moved to Westport, Connecticut and opened the George Volodine School of Ballet. Here, he taught a multitude of ballet dancers including Marsha Ismailoff Mark and Patricia H. (Lee) Zeitlin.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George Volodine Papers includes correspondence-subject files, engravings, George Volodine School of Ballet, photographs, printed material, scrapbooks, and writings by others.

Correspondence-subject files contain personal correspondence from Volodine's friends, such as George Balanchine and his wives Maria (Tallchief) and Tanaquil (Le Clerq), Leon Kelly, and Michael Mordkin. There is a miscellaneous folder of Russian letters, mainly handwritten, from unknown individuals.

Engravings consists of two booklets with engravings of various scenes for the Kaiserliches und Königliches Hoftheater zu Wien (Imperial and Royal Court Theatre of Vienna).

George Volodine School of Ballet contains material relating to Volodine's ballet school in Westport, Connecticut. Volodine kept many photographs and newspaper clippings about his school and students; the material in this series includes correspondence, photographs, printed material, and scrapbooks.

Photographs includes personal and professional photos of Volodine, candid and professional photos of fellow dancers and friends (many of which are signed), and a large number of candid photos of soldiers and civilians during the Spanish Civil War. Within Volodine's personal photographs are images from his birthday party in 1968, three photo albums, and two photos of Mourka the dancing cat portrayed as performing in ballet productions.

Printed material relates to colleagues such as George Balanchine, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, and Maria Tallchief, and dance companies such as Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Ballet Folklorico, and New York City Ballet. Formats include magazine and newspaper clippings as well as souvenir programs for single performances and entire seasons. There are also issues of a number of dance-related publications such as Dance Index and Dance Magazine and some miscellaneous items.

Miscellaneous material consists of two scrapbooks and a few pieces of writing by others. One of the scrapbooks is of dancers and dance companies; the other contains newspaper clippings from the end of the first World War, gathered by an unidentified individual living in Los Angeles, California. The writings by others, all typescripts, include essays about Volodine by Leon Kelly and Jacques de Wolfe.

Arrangement of the Collection

Arranged alphabetically by topic, title, or type, then chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advance notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Balanchine, George.
Braggiotti, Francesca, 1902-1998.
Kelly, Leon, 1901-1982.
Le Clercq, Tanaquil.
Nureyev, Rudolf, 1938-1993.
Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971.
Tallchief, Maria.
Tchelitchew, Pavel, 1898-1957.
Volodine, George.

Corporate Bodies

American Ballet Theatre.
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Ballet Theatre (New York, N.Y.)
Bolshoi Ballet Company.
Mordkin Ballet Company.
New York City Ballet.
Opéra de Paris.
Royal Ballet.
Sadler's Wells Ballet.
School of American Ballet.


Ballet dancers -- Soviet Union.
Ballet dancers -- United States.
World War, 1914-1918.


Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Concert programs.
Engravings (prints)
Magazines (periodicals)
Manuscripts for publication.
Photograph albums.
Souvenir programs.
Theater programs.


Dance teachers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Volodine Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Unspecified, 1967 and 1982.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files


George Volodine School of Ballet


Printed material