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Exhibition: The Ballets Suédois – scandalously innovative!

Final days ! In 2020, the Institut suédois celebrated the centenary of the Ballets Suédois with an exhibition about this avant-garde early 20th century dance company. We extended the exhibition due to the current situation.
Black and white archive image of the Ballets suédois. Nine dancers stand in a formation in front of a stage set.

Paris, 1920. Two men, the dancer and choreographer Jean Börlin and his partner Rolf de Maré, a collector and patron of the arts, arrived in Paris from Sweden. They rented the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées to found an avant-garde dance company: Les Ballets Suédois. For five years, they worked with some of the greatest artists and musicians of their time including Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, Nils Dardel, Erik Satie, Germaine Tailleferre, Cole Porter and Jean Cocteau. They created choreographies, costumes, sets and music for modern, provocative performances. By creating pieces combining different art forms, the Ballets Suédois helped to raise dance to new heights and to set it on the path to modernity.

Paris, 2020. We celebrate the centenary of the Ballets Suédois, a revolutionary company and a perfect illustration of Franco-Swedish artistic collaboration. In an exhibition introducing this fascinating adventure, visitors will discover its two main protagonists, Jean Börlin and Rolf de Maré: not only their innovative work and careers, but also their struggle to gain acceptance for their avant-garde artistic vision and to live as gay men in the early 20th century.

Admission free.
Wednesday – Sunday / 12:00 – 18:00

With support from Swedish Art Council, the Swedish Embassy in France and in collaboration with Dansmuseet in Stockholm.

Institut suédois 50 years in 2021! This event forms part of our anniversary programme dedicated to the theme of Friendship. Click here to learn more.

To ensure that everybody is protected and that events run smoothly, our team is implementing a number of hygiene and safety measures. Please read the barrier gestures by clicking here.