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Diaghilev Ballet Russe Centenary Celebration 2009Diaghilev Lecture by Princess Nina Lobanov-Rostovsky


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#1 leonid17

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 03:11 PM

Last night I attended what must be one of the earlier events in this Diaghilev Ballet Russe centenary celebration year. It was an illustrated talk by Princess Nina Lobanov Rostovsky covering the life and work and Serge Diaghilev and held in Pushkin House, Bloomsbury Square, London organised by the Great Britain Russia Society.
The Princess is a writer and lecturer on Russian decorative arts and Russian stage design, and consults for Christie’s International and Sotheby’s. The Princess and her husband Prince Nikita have an important private collection of Diaghilev material items from which they have generously loaned material to various important exhibitions over the years. She has co-curated numerous exhibitions of Russian theatrical art – designs for ballet, theatre and opera – in North America, Germany, Japan and Russia, and was a consultant for the Diaghilev Exhibition and Festival in the Netherlands in 2005.
Pushkin House is a building of more than 200 years old was a suitable venue for such an event with its lofty ceilings and chandeliers, mildly evocative of a minor St. Petersburg Mansion of the same period.
The audience included ballet enthusiasts, archivists, Russian speakers and a good number of Russians currently settled in London.
The Princess covered Diaghilev’s early life with an insight into the family status and home activities, in a manner that was evocative of pre-revolutionary Russian domestic life of a certain class in Perm where Diaghilev spent his early life.
She created a very real picture of his father, outlining his character and status. But it was the very detailed information about his step-mother who introduced a rich musical atmosphere into their home life that was especially interesting. Her undoubted influence was such that when he left Perm to go to St. Petersburg University to study law he also studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov and singing with the famous baritone Cotogni. Fortunately for us today, he showed no great talent for either of these enthusiasms.
Princess Nina introduced all the characters from the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) period and the early forays into staging important exhibitions. She related how in 1907 Diaghilev introduced to Paris the figures of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Glazunov, Alexander Scriabin, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov who conducted their compositions, as well as conducting the works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin and Mikhail Glinka.
She went on to remind us of Diaghilev’s introducing to Paris in 1908 the Russian opera with the already legendary Fyodor Chaliapin.
From there on the talk was all about the ballet describing the decors and costumes, bringing them to life with vivid slides and numerous photographs of those involved in the productions.
We were told about the tours, the terrible state of the Ballet Russe Company’s finances and the fact that Diaghilev was never to own a home of his own.
Diaghilev has been likened to the Roman patron of the arts Maecenas which, considering the number of artistic careers he supported and encouraged, is a fair comparison. Sadly, he lacked the personal wealth of that earlier patron of the arts and Diaghilev’s great artistic success was matched by a continuous fight against debt and the search for patrons.
This was a fitting start for me to a centenary of a man I never knew but whose work and its history have been abiding passions since my teenage.
I was introduced to the Princess and had a short conversation, which confirmed both her knowledge and her attractive and lively personality.

#2 bart

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:08 PM

Leonid, you are so fortunate to have been able to attend. Thank you for sharing it with us. I love the specificity of detail in comments such as the following --

The Princess covered Diaghilev’s early life with an insight into the family status and home activities, in a manner that was evocative of pre-revolutionary Russian domestic life of a certain class in Perm where Diaghilev spent his early life.
She created a very real picture of his father, outlining his character and status. But it was the very detailed information about his step-mother who introduced a rich musical atmosphere into their home life that was especially interesting. Her undoubted influence was such, that when he left Perm to go to the St. Petersburg University to study law, he also studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov and singing with the famous baritone Cotogni.


Will there be an exhibition in London similar to the Edinburgh exhibition that the focus of Richard Buckle's book?

#3 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 07:11 PM

Thank you so much Leonid! As Bart said, the specificity is so vivid, as I'm sure the talk must have been. What strikes me as unique is that the Princess has such a long and personal relationship with the artifacts of the era, and is so knowledgeable about them, that it must have been very rewarding to hear.

I have read about Diaghilev's stepmother -- we can all be grateful she came into his life.

As you, Leonid, know, I posted a notice about a conference that will be in Cambridge, MA in April (it's in "Heads Up"). I am wondering how to find out about other Diaghilev anniversary events this year. Does anyone else know?

I'm glad you've set an example, and that we'll all submit posts about these events.

#4 leonid17

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 09:13 AM

Thank you so much Leonid! As Bart said, the specificity is so vivid, as I'm sure the talk must have been. What strikes me as unique is that the Princess has such a long and personal relationship with the artifacts of the era, and is so knowledgeable about them, that it must have been very rewarding to hear.
I have read about Diaghilev's stepmother -- we can all be grateful she came into his life.
As you, Leonid, know, I posted a notice about a conference that will be in Cambridge, MA in April (it's in "Heads Up"). I am wondering how to find out bout other Diaghilev anniversary events this year. Does anyone else know?
I'm glad you've set an example, and that we'll all submit posts about these events.


I was grateful for your information on the Cambridge MA conference and please find herewith a list of events I have found. More to follow.

xxxIF YOU HAVE DETAILS OF EXHIBITIONS/EVENTS OR PERFORMANCES RELATED TO THE CENTENARY NOT LISTED PLEASE POST

BOSTON
BALLETS RUSSES 2009 ANNOUNCES SYMPOSIUM
The Spirit of Diaghilev May 19-21, 2009
http://www.ballets-r.../symposium.html

BARNARD COLLEGE
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Celebrating Diaghilev in Music and Dance: Afternoon of a Faun and Les Noces
Saturday,April25,2009
http://www.barnard.c...e/calendar.html

AUSTRALIA
Australian Ballet
Excellent Ballet Russe resource page
http://www.nla.gov.au/balletsrusses/

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
Diaghilev's Theater of Marvels: The Ballets Russes and Its Aftermath
June 26, 2009 through September 12, 2009
Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery
http://www.nypl.org/...r/excal.cfm#509

LONDON
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes 1900-1939
18 September 2010 - 16 January 2011
Note: On the occasion of the centenary, the V&A Theatre and Performance Department are offering group visits to view selected costumes and objects from its Diaghilev Ballets Russes collections. These will take place from Monday 27 April - Friday 1 May 2009 at 14.00 - 15.00. These sessions will be led by Jane Pritchard, Co-curator of the 2010 exhibition:
http://www.vam.ac.uk...tions/index.htm

HARVARD THEATRE COLLECTION
HARVARD UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LIBRARY
Diaghilev's Ballet Russe 1909-1929
TWENTY YEARS THAT CHANGEDTHE WORLD OF ART
An Exhibition and a Symposium
15-17 April 2009
http://hcl.harvard.e...ml#registration


STOCKHOLM
Dansmuseet
Diaghilev Exhibition
May 15 2009-January 10 2010
http://www.dansmusee...itions-eng.html


The City of Perm is holding an International Diaghilev Festival including the unveiling of a monument to celebrate Diaghilev's achievements see http://www.t7.ru/ds/....phtml?lang=eng

The Philadelphia orchestra under their new conductor will pay tribute to Diaghilev in their programming this season see: <a href="http://www.philorch....ic_Adviser.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.philorch....tic_Adviser.pdf[/url]

A sidelight on a minor Diaghilev collaborator the composer Lord Berners http://www.gavinbrya...rd_Berners.html

If your are interested in research, here is a link to the International Directory of Performing Arts Collections and Institutions [url="http://www.sibmas.or.../index.html</a>
it lists by country and then by city and town.

New additions 02.13pm

PS
Ballets Russes
2009
Russian Revel
May 16 - 23rd
Boston, MA
Ballets Russes 2009, a non-profit organization created to celebrate the Ballets Russes centenary will stage a Russian Revel on May 22nd, 2008 at the Cutler Majestic Theater. A gala dinner will follow at the Four Seasons. The evening will feature prima ballerina, Nina Ananiashvili of the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theater. She will dance The Dying Swan. Mikhail Martyniuk and Kristina Kretova will dance a pas de deux from Le Pavillion d'Armide by Nicholas Tcherepnine. Three Russian bass singers, Alexey Tikhomirov, Vladimir Kudashev, and Mikhail Guzhov, will perform arias from Boris Godunov and Prince Igor. Yevgeny Yevtushenko will read his poetry.

#5 leonid17

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 09:17 AM

Alistair Macauley has written about the anniversary in the Trib http://www.iht.com/a...2643.php?page=1 giving a good deal of background to the phenomena of the Diaghilev Ballet Russe and its era.

#6 bart

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 11:48 AM

What a wonderful compilation of events. Thanks, leonid.

I have a question about the photo used to illustrate the Macaulay piece. Surely that isn't Nijinksy? :)

#7 leonid17

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:02 PM

What a wonderful compilation of events. Thanks, leonid.

I have a question about the photo used to illustrate the Macaulay piece. Surely that isn't Nijinksy? :)


Absolutely not! I would think this is fairly recent given the costume and photograph style and quality.

#8 Marisa

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:43 PM

I attended what must be one of the earlier events in this Diaghilev Ballet Russe centenary celebration year. It was an illustrated talk by Princess Nina Lobanov Rostovsky covering the life and work and Serge Diaghilev and held in Pushkin House, Bloomsbury Square, London organised by the Great Britain Russia Society.
The Princess is a writer and lecturer on Russian decorative arts and Russian stage design, and consults for Christie’s International and Sotheby’s. The Princess and her husband Prince Nikita, have an important private collection of Diaghilev material items from which they have generously loaned material to various important exhibitions over the years. She has co-curated numerous exhibitions of Russian theatrical art – designs for ballet, theatre and opera – in North America, Germany, Japan and Russia, and was a consultant for the Diaghilev Exhibition and Festival in the Netherlands in 2005.
Pushkin House is a building of more than 200 years old was a suitable venue for such an event with its lofty ceilings and chandeliers, mildly evocative of a minor St. Petersburg Mansion of the same period.
The audience included ballet enthusiasts, archivists, Russian speakers and a good number of Russians currently settled in London.
The Princess covered Diaghilev’s early life with an insight into the family status and home activities, in a manner that was evocative of pre-revolutionary Russian domestic life of a certain class in Perm where Diaghilev spent his early life.
She created a very real picture of his father, outlining his character and status. But it was the very detailed information about his step-mother who introduced a rich musical atmosphere into their home life that was especially interesting. Her undoubted influence was such, that when he left Perm to go to the St. Petersburg University to study law, he also studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov and singing with the famous baritone Cotogni. Fortunately for us today, he showed no great talent for either of these enthusiasms.
The Princess Nina introduced all the characters from the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) period and the early forays into staging important exhibitions. She related how in 1907 how Diaghilev introduced to Paris the figures of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Glazunov, Alexander Scriabin, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov who conducted their compositions, as well as conducting the works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin and Mikhail Glinka.
She went on to remind us of Diaghilev’s introducing to Paris in 1908 the Russian opera with the already legendary Feodor Chaliapin.
From there on, the talk was all about the ballet describing the decors and costumes bringing them to life with vivid slides and numerous photographs of those involved in the productions.
We were told about the tours, the terrible state of the Ballet Russe Company’s finances and the fact that Diaghilev was never to own a home of his own.
Diaghilev has been likened to the Roman patron of the arts Maecenas which considering the number of artistic careers he supportedand encouraged, is a fair comparison. Sadly, he lacked the personal wealth of that earlier patron of the arts and Diaghilev’s great artistic success was matched by a continuous fight against debt and the search for patrons.
This was a fitting start for me to a centenary of a man I never knew but whose work and the history of his work, has been an abiding passion since my teenage.
I was introduced to the Princess and had a short conversation, which confirmed both her knowledge and her attractive and lively personality.


I am new to Ballet Talk and forums in general. Your synopsis of the Princess' talk is very interesting, thank you, and makes me wish for more. I wonder if you know whether her talk was recorded.
Marisa

#9 bart

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 05:51 AM

Welcome to Ballet Talk, Marisa. We hope you'll be with us for a long time! If you get the chance, it would be wonderful if you could introduce yourself to the rest of the members on our Welcome forum.

#10 leonid17

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:13 PM

I am new to Ballet Talk and forums in general. Your synopsis of the Princess' talk is very interesting, thank you, and makes me wish for more. I wonder if you know whether her talk was recorded.
Marisa


As far as I could see the talk was not recorded. I did not write in detail every thing she talked about as I am aware that some of my posts are rather long which embarasses me.
Put it down to my age.

#11 Alymer

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 07:32 AM

Marisa, you might be interested to know that Richard Buckle's biography of Diaghilev contains an interesting account of the family background and his early years.

#12 leonid17

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 02:35 AM

More events
PLEASE CHECK WEBSITES IN ALL INSTANCES IN CASE ERRORS HAVE CREPT IN


SALT LAKE CITY
BALLET WEST

Treasures of the Ballets Russes
27 March to 27-April 4, 2009
Les Biches
The Prodigal Son
The Polovtsian Dances

http://www.balletwes...s/BalletsRusses

OAKLAND
OAKLAND BALLET
October 23-25, 2009
Programme to include
Les Biches, Boutique Fantasque,Train Bleu,
L’Apres midi d’un Faune
http://www.rgfpa.org/

CHICAGO
JOFFREY BALLET
February 18 to March 1, 2009
Hand of Fate
Cotillon Pas de deux-after Balanchine by Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer.
Rite of Spring-Nijinsky reconstruction by Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer
Plus other works
http://www.joffrey.org/index.asp

MONTE CARLO
LES BALLET DE MONTE CARLO
December 2009
Le Sacre du Printemps

http://www.balletsde...ml?atelier.html

ROME
Ballet OF ROME OPERA
Les Sylphides -Michel Fokine
Les Biches - Bronislava Nijinska / Howard Sayette
Cléopâtre - Michel Fokine reconstruction Viatcheslav Khomyakov
Le Tricorne- Léonide Massine staged by Susanne Della Pietra
The Firebird - Michel Fokine staged Nicolay Androsov
Performances in April 2009 check website http://www.operaroma.it/
Translation available

MUNICH
BAVARIAN STATE BALLET
Sunday, 10 May 2009
An evening is dedicated to the “Ballets RussesThe three-part ballet program “100 Years Ballets Russes” will present two Munich premieres of works from Diaghilev’s repertoire, “Shéhérazade” by Mikhail Fokine and “Les Biches” by Bronislava Nijinskaja, together with a creation “Once Upon An Ever After”, a work the young choreographer Terence Kohler
Shéhérazade - Mikhail Fokine reconstructed Isabelle Fokine
Les Biches - Bronislava Nijinska
Once Upon An Ever After-Terence Kohler

HAMBURG
HAMBURG BALLET
Premieres
The Prodigal Son – George Balanchine
Le Pavillon d'Armide -John Neumeier
Le Sacre du Printemps - Millicent Hodson reconstruction
June 28 | 30; July 11, 2009

Revivals
Daphnis and Chloe/Afternoon of a Faun/
Le Sacre
July 9 2009
100 Years Ballets Russes – Jubilee Performance
Nijinsky
May 19, 2009
Nijinsky Gala XXXV
July 12, 2009

http://www.hamburgba....de/e/index.htm

HAMBURG KUNSTERHALLE
BALLET RUSSE EXHIBITION

19 May 2009 – 16 August 2009

On 19 May 2009 it will be exactly one hundred years since the renowned ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky made his first spectacular performance with the Ballets Russes in Paris. To mark this occasion, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is presenting “Nijinsky’s Eye”, an exhibition of around 100 paintings and drawings by Nijinsky that are mainly held in the collection of the John Neumeier Foundation. They are being shown in the context of predominantly Russian painters working in Paris between 1910 and 1930 who portrayed the themes of dance, rhythm and motion in abstract depictions. The featured artists include Sonia Delaunay Terk, Alexandra Ekster, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné, Léopold Survage and Frantisek Kupka. The abstract colour compositions are dominated by luminously intense hues and circular, arched or curved forms with strong rhythmic qualities that abstractly evoke the movement, lightness and virtuosity of dance as one of the fundamental forms of human expression.
Exhibited artists: Sonia Delaunay Terk, Alexandra Ekster, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné, Léopold Survage and Frantisek Kupka.

http://www.hamburger...t/en_start.html

Do check out the Wadsworth Atheneum website for information on their exhibition starting 19 February 2009

http://www.wadsworth...amp;type=Future

***ADDED 17 FEBRUARY 2009***

LONDON
Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies
06 March 2009
Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe
An illustrated talk by Charlotte Kasner
01 April 2009
An exhibition about ‘Mir Isskustva(The World of Art)
to include material from the State Museum of Theatre and Music
in St.Petersburg.

http://www.scrss.org...inemaevents.htm

#13 bart

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 04:46 AM

HAMBURG KUNSTERHALLE[/b]

19 May 2009 – 16 August 2009

[ ... ] They are being shown in the context of predominantly Russian painters working in Paris between 1910 and 1930 who portrayed the themes of dance, rhythm and motion in abstract depictions. The featured artists include Sonia Delaunay Terk, Alexandra Ekster, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné, Léopold Survage and Frantisek Kupka. The abstract colour compositions are dominated by luminously intense hues and circular, arched or curved forms with strong rhythmic qualities that abstractly evoke the movement, lightness and virtuosity of dance as one of the fundamental forms of human expression.


I am impressed by this approach. It broadens the idea of the "influence" of Diaghileve/Russian dance on the arts. It would also be a chance to see the work of artists not as well known as those who are always being reproduced.

#14 4mrdncr

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:53 PM

Do check out the Wadsworth Atheneum website for information on their exhibition starting 19 May 2009

http://www.wadsworth...amp;type=Future


According to their website the Wadsworth exhibit starts FEBRUARY 19 and continues to MAY 24. A good exhibit and only 30 minutes away from me, hooray!

#15 leonid17

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:15 PM

Do check out the Wadsworth Atheneum website for information on their exhibition starting 19 May 2009

http://www.wadsworth...amp;type=Future


According to their website the Wadsworth exhibit starts FEBRUARY 19 and continues to MAY 24. A good exhibit and only 30 minutes away from me, hooray!


Thanks. I have corrected the date. Please give a report or an impression of the event if you are able to attend. It is all history after all.


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