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


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#31 leonid17

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 03:04 AM

An exhibition of Diaghilev ballet history material is to go on show at the Daniel Katz Gallery in London from the collection of Julian Barran. The exhibition runs from 19 May to 12 June 2009.

http://www.katz.co.uk/

PS
Regrettably they manage to garble Parmenia Ekstrom's name.

#32 CarolinaM

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 09:20 AM

It’s a shame that Spain has not joined Europe in the celebration of this centennial. The INAEM has rejected since 2006, several projects :angry2:

The company spent seasons in Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastián. Also king Alfonso XIII was one of their sponsor.

But at least the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona has scheduled the ENB with their program Homage to the Ballets Russes on the centenary of their foundation.

If you visit the link you can see the posters announcing their participation in years, 1917, 1918, 1927 and 1928 :unsure:

I’m happy that I will be able to participate in a way :)

#33 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:10 AM

I am happy to say that I attended the conference at Harvard, and found it to be interesting, fun and informative. The staff at the Harvard Theatre collection were very cordial and helpful. I took lots of notes, and I will post whatever I am able over the next few days. The schedule and much information is online.

First off, there was lots of "swag," and many informative brochures. When we registered we got not only the schedule and information for those of us who were new to the Harvard Sq. area, we received profiles of the participants, a biographical dictionary of selected dancers from the BR, a "pocket guide" to the BR with illustrations from the current exhibition at the Theatre Collection, containing chronological and alphabetical lists of the ballets produced (the chronological listings had details of each ballet), the operas produced, the unproduced and "derivative" works, and Indeces of composers, choreographers, librettists, designers. They served coffee and juice in the a.m.'s and supplies for the necessary sugar rush in the p.m.'s. There was a film (I didn't go), a presentation of "Petroushka" by Basil Twist (SUPERB) that was a hybrid of performance and demonstration of his techniques, and a dance presentation by Harvard students.

The coordinator of the conference, Frederick W. Wilson, also prepared a sort of spreadsheet with tabulations of the number of performances of EACH ballet, by year, with the date, city and theatre of each premiere.

We got a Diaghilev TEE SHIRT, a Diaghilev moleskin notebook, a lapel pin, a book bag. We got a list of items for sale. We got two boxes of note cards, beautifully printed: one of photos and objects in the exhibition and one of graphic work. I had been to the Balanchine exhibition in 2004 and they had produced a set of (15) notecards for that one as well, and I purchased FIVE boxes back then. For an additional $10 we can receive a DVD with just gobs of information and illustrations.

We had a private pre-opening tour of the exhibit at which they fed us superb hors d'oevres.

An unscheduled treat was the discovery that the great-granddaughter of Michel Tcherepnin and the daughter (or grand-daughter) of Massine were there and met each other. (I hope I got those names right.)

While a few of the topics were, for me, peripheral, most were right on the money, and fascinating. As Phenby mentioned, Thomas Forrest Kelly of harvard was a standout. He teaches a course called "Five First Nights," which is said to be one of the most popular in the University, and if his talk on April 16 was any indication, his popularity is deserved. Until the Time Machine that I ordered gets delivered (so I can GO to that first night) this will serve as a substitute.

What he did was to discuss the opening night of "The Rite of Spring," and talked to us as if we had been there! He kept saying, "you remember when..." which really drew people in. But his most important (for me) contribution was an illumination (with music and graphics) of how the rhythm worked in one particular very percussive section. If, for example, the section's chordal groupings were 9-2-6-3-4-5-3, and in the section of 9 chords the 4th and 7th chords were emphasized, he projected the score with each chord illuminated in when played, and the chords emphasized were red and the others yellow. That's not precise, but shows how he made the score and rhythms come to life. His energy and enthusiasm were amazing.

He also mentioned that Cechetti said that it was "done by 4 idiots," and thereafter referred to each of the creators (Nijinsky, Stravinsky, Roerich and Diaghilev) as "this idiot" etc.

Kelly feels that after the few performances of Nijinsky's "Rite" Stravinsky separated himself from the other "idiots" and tried to make it seem as if "Rite" was ALL his triumph. HE wrote the libretto, it was HIS idea, etc. He played a tape of I.S. speaking about it, that Kelly feels was read from written material, perhaps by Robert Kraft.

That's all I can write just now. I wish YOU had all been there.

#34 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 02:14 AM

Regrettably they manage to garble Parmenia Ekstrom's name.


not to mention "Leonie Massive and Anton Dolan". :ermm:

#35 Amy Reusch

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:34 PM

My memory is poor and so are my note taking skills, so please keep in mind I may not be wholly accurate in my account. Please correct any gross errors if you find them. I will not be offended.

Thank Heavens Lynn Garafola has had such a long and productive career with so many significant achievements, and that the Wadsworth had that trick step on the way up to the stage, or I would have missed the opening of her wonderful lecture.

I would have missed her opening story of James Joyce & Marcel Proust meeting and their discussion of various topics avoiding discussing each other’s work which it turned neither had read…not at some salon’s soiree, but rather during intermission at the Ballets Russes.


I’ve come to dread power point lectures, but Garafola’s reminded me that Powerpoint is only a tool and that in the right hands it enriches a lecture. I also enjoyed those moments when a nude was accidentally flashed on screen and quickly removed with the comment “oh, we’re not there yet” or something like… it was like when a ballet composer cunningly deploys the crash of cymbals in time to wake up the dozing audience for an important bit. But there was nothing dull about this lecture. She included some lovely images, Sargent’s portrait of Nijinsky; Picasso’s quick sketch of Diaghilev; and a photo of a luggage caravan of donkeys in Peru with Diaghilev incongruously perched atop the last one wearing his top hat. .

She also spoke at length defending Nijinksa and showed a very nice clip of Oakland Ballet peformng Les Biches back in the 1980s, staged with the assistance of Irina Nijinsky (sp?). She said something about Nijinska claiming her Les Noces was the first pure choreography without an accompanying story… but I thought Fokine’s Les Sylphides held that distinction… Garafola also gave background on Les Noces explaining why for the bride and groom, the wedding was a journey into the unknown rather than a joyous celebration…something I’d always sort of wondered about…

She pointed out that there was too little interest in the company’s productions of Giselle and Swan Lake for them to stay in the repertoire… surprising when one considers what mainstays of ballet companies they are now. To me, “Swan Lake” is almost synonymous with “Russian Ballet”, even if it wasn’t set in Russia.

Alas there was no time for questions, they allowed only one, as the museum had a movie scheduled for immediately after the lecture. I had so many questions, it’s probably just as well Dr. Garafola was spared them.

One was about the credit dispute over which Diaghilev left working for the Maryinski. I was wondering if there was something of a problem with giving credit where credit was due, considering the situation with Ivanov and Petipa.

Another question was how many “spare” ballets, like Les Noces, existed in the Ballets Russes repertoire. Balanchine made many of such works but I don’t believe any were costumed sparingly when they were produced by Diaghilev.

Another was about Massine’s theatrical style… his ballets seem so much more like “ballet theatre” than say Balanchine’s . Was this part of Diaghilev’s influence, or coincidence. I thought it interesting when she noted that one of Massine’s first two ballets, Liturgy, was never staged and wondered what the back story on that was.

Lincoln Kirstein was so very influenced by Diaghilev, almost as if he considered Diaghilev a role model… but he did not long seem to pursue the collaborative style of Diaghilev. Perhaps he appreciated Balanchine’s genius enough not to burden him with collaborators from outside the ballet world?

I wanted to ask about Nijinksy rejoining the company for the American tours after having been cast out. I have no doubt the American producers demanded his presence, but still wanted to hear more about how that went. And also, how it was that Nijinska was allowed in to work with the company when her brother was not. It seems there are stories not told there.

Happily, I overheard one audience member catch Garafola on her way out... asking what made one piece "modern dance" and another "ballet"... I held my breath! (It's a bit like asking someone, in passing, for their definition of "art")... she gave him a considered answer despite her host's rush, and rather than saying "pointe shoes", mentioned that "Les Biches" was the first piece they had done on pointe after a long while... that if the dancers prepared for the performance by taking a classical ballet warm-up class that it was a ballet.... (I'm not sure I heard that a'right... knowing many excellent modern dancers who preferred to warm up for distinctly modern pieces by taking a ballet class)... and something about the difference in point of view... that ballet expresses an institutional point of view, but Modern Dance expresses an individual point of view... I'm not sure I heard that right either, as she wasn't speaking directly to me... I think she said "personal point of view"... but I might have mis-heard.

Now I want to read her book, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, to learn more of how he managed the troupe. It was interesting that the direction of the troupe changed when it went from being a summer touring expedition to a year round company. I hadn’t realized that London had become such a home to the company, that it had a 3 month long run of Sleeping Beauty there… and it hadn’t occurred to me, though it should have, that after the revolution the desire to mount that ballet would have had something to do with nostalgia for imperial Russia. Having heard stories of his fundraising efforts, it hadn’t occurred to me before that of course his funding resources at home disappeared with the revolution. It also now is more meaningful when I think of how strongly Sleeping Beauty has been associated with the Royal Ballet. She mentioned that the production had been a financial disaster and that the company had lost it’s costumes. She said that, however, the Wadsworth had acquired them. I would have liked to have heard the story of how came about.

The exhibit is only up a few more weeks. Until Midsummer’s Night, I believe. I encourage everyone to come. And I apologize, the last time I dashed through so quickly that I didn’t spot the famous Nijinsky faune original and wondered if it were on loan to Boston. It’s not, it’s at the Wadsworth. It’s so much larger in my memory than in real life, but it is there. It is not brightly lit, no doubt to preserve it, but one might not even notice the gold worked into the image, and I feel something magical is lessened with out it.

I didn't quite catch the docent's tour, but was a little disturbed to hear her going on about Josephine Baker being the very first black ballerina... I have lots of respect for Josephine Baker's talent and believe she was certainly a star, but "ballerina" is misused there, even loosely; I thought that was a bit of a disservice to Raven Wilkenson, and after some rather odd pronunciations, I continued on to the next gallery to watch the ballet projections. They were showing Andris Liepa's film of Firebird, which was done with the consent of the Fokine Estate.... but I thought I heard at it's NY premiere some dissent that it is not very authentic? Is that true? Or was it minor complaints about the staging?

If you go, don’t miss a trip over to the Wadsworth’s regular costume gallery, where in addition to some more costume sketches there are several examples of Ballets Russes inspired evening wear.

#36 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 07:00 PM

Wonderful recount, Amy. Many thanks!!! :wub:

#37 leonid17

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 05:30 AM

"My memory is poor and so are my note taking skills, so please keep in mind I may not be wholly accurate in my account."


Vivid enough for me. Well done. I am most grateful for your contribution.

Ps
Along with the rest of the world I have been guilty in promoting a
Centerary of the Diaghilev Ballet Russe which actually takes
place in 1911 when the company assumed that name. What is really being celebrated
this year is the centenary of the, "Saison Russe." at the Chatelet Theatre.

#38 leonid17

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 05:09 AM

Access to past Diaghilev Exhibitions showing costumes and designs


From Russia with love http://www.nga.gov.au/russia/

Images by Bakst, Serov, Golovin, Picasso and Gontcharova From 2005 Groningen Festival. http://www.groninger...dex.php?id=1260

Vaslav Nijinsky: creating a new artistic era http://www.nypl.org/...h/lpa/nijinsky/

#39 Amy Reusch

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 08:45 PM

I don't know if this is noted elsewhere, but there's a nice slideshow of the Australian Ballet's tribute (Les Sylphides, Petrushka & a new Firebird) http://www.australia...af?p=4,1,1,1,12

#40 CM

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 11:38 AM

Ballet Russes Exhibition - Schwäne und Feuervögel LES BALLETS RUSSES 1909 - 1929 opens tomorrow in Vienna.

http://www.khm.at/en...e0fc#highlights

(Images at bottom of page come up very well when double-clicked)


Hamburg's Nijinsky exhibition - Dance of Colours. Nijinsky's Eye and Abstraction - is on-going. Exhibition flyer can be downloaded at the link below

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

#41 leonid17

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 02:32 PM

I don't know if this is noted elsewhere, but there's a nice slideshow of the Australian Ballet's tribute (Les Sylphides, Petrushka & a new Firebird) http://www.australia...af?p=4,1,1,1,12


Thank you Amy Reusch,
It was interesting to see the costumes.

#42 bart

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:47 PM

Thanks, Amy and CM, for the Links

RE the exhibit at the Kunsthistorische Museum: I'm puzzled about the 7th illustration (out of 7). Can anyone identify a ballet called "The Mask of the Red Death"? Was this in the Ballet Russe season in 1916-17? Who or what is the "small idol" so beautifully illustrated here?

#43 leonid17

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 10:28 PM

Thanks, Amy and CM, for the Links

RE the exhibit at the Kunsthistorische Museum: I'm puzzled about the 7th illustration (out of 7). Can anyone identify a ballet called "The Mask of the Red Death"? Was this in the Ballet Russe season in 1916-17? Who or what is the "small idol" so beautifully illustrated here?

Apr 11 2006,
In the Tcherepnin Le Pavillion D'Armide thread on Apr 11 2006, Phenby wrote the following.

"In his twenty years of ballet and opera productions Diaghilev only rejected a commissioned score a handful of times. Tcherepnin heads the list as having produced two such scores.

In the early seasons Diaghilev had a secretary/advisor by the name of M. D. Calvocoressi, a young French music critic. Calvocoressi met a young, unknown composer (I forget the name) who had written a ballet score on his own entitled La masque de la mort rouge (The Mask of Red Death after Edgar Allen Poe). Calvocoressi passed the score along to Diaghilev who wasn't interested in the music but found the story an interesting idea for a ballet. Diaghilev approached Stravinsky on the subject but was rejected. So he turned to ... Nikolai Tcherepnin.

In 1913, when Tcherepnin composed his ballet, Fokine had been dismissed and Nijinsky was now choreographer of the Ballets Russes. But Nijinsky was very slow and couldn't be counted upon to produce four new ballets every season. So for the 1913 season Adolph Bolm and Boris Romanov, two dancers in the company, were given their first opportunities to choreograph (both went on to long careers as choreographers). Tcherepnin's La masque de la mort rouge was schedualed for the 1914 season, but since Nijinsky was already overextended with preparations for two other ballets, Diaghilev assigned Tcherepnin's ballet to a guest choreographer: Alexander Gorsky. Then the rupture between Nijinsky and Diaghilev occured. As a result, Fokine came back to the Ballets Russes for the 1914 season and took charge of all new choreography. La masque de la mort rouge and Gorsky were scrapped."

Sarah Banes in her book Writing Dancing in the Age of Postmodernism however states, “Goleizovsky began work in 1919 on “The Masque of the Red Death” and Eric W. Carlson In his “A Companion to Poe Studies” says that the ballet was given in 1919 at the Moscow Kamerny Theatre.

#44 bart

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 04:53 AM

Thanks, leonid, for bringing back the history. I had never heard of this before. Given the vogue of Poe and the special qualities of Mask of the Red Death -- an isolated castle, an autocratic prince, a decadent court, an adventurous but naive leading man, etc., etc. -- I'd always thought this should have been a fin de siecle ballet. Balanchine's Night Shadow (Sonnambula) comes close. I wonder what part the "Little Idol" in the illustration played in the Bohm-Romanov story?

#45 leonid17

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:47 PM

Has anyone been to see the "Diaghilev's Theater of Marvels" Exhibition at NYPL?

I think many people would be interested to hear




http://broadwayworld...PL_626_20090626


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