René Blum

Blum, René (rənāˈ blŏm) [key], 1878–1942, French ballet impresario, brother of Socialist leader Léon Blum. He edited (1903–13) the journal Gil Blas and arranged (1913) for the publication of Proust's Swann's Way. After fighting in World War I, he moved to Monaco to become (1924) artistic director of the Theatre de Monte-Carlo and later reorganized and cofounded (1932) a new Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo, bringing together such dancers as Alexandra Danilova, Alicia Markova, Serge Lifar, and Igor Youskevitch and such choreographers as Fokine, Massine, and Balanchine. The company's sale (1937), for financial reasons, to U.S. interests brought some of the world's finest dancers and choreographers to America. In 1941 he was arrested and ultimately sent to Auschwitz, where he died.

See biography by J. Chazin-Bennahum (2011).

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