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

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#76 phenby



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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:57 PM

A number of Diaghilev exhibitions past, present, and future have yet to be noticed in the Western press so I will venture a brief summary.

Schwäne und Feuervögel: die Ballets Russes, 1909 – 1929
Deutsches Theatermuseum, Munich
Feb 18, 2009 – May 24, 2009
Österreichischen Theatermuseum, Vienna
June 25, 2009 – Sept 27, 2009

Catalog by Claudia Jeschke & Nicole Haitzinger
(Leipzig: Henschel, 2009) 176pp

I am listing the contents as this publication seems to have limited distribution. There are many beautifully reproduced illustrations, including several Roerich designs for Sacre du printemps and Gontcharova’s Liturgie and Les noces. I was fascinated to learn about Fokine’s handwritten dancenotation of Oiseau de feu and Les Sylphides, as well as that of Nijinska for Les noces. I wonder what other Diaghilev ballets may have been notated by their creators?

by Claudia Jeschke und Nicole Haitzinger
Russische Bildwelten in Bewegung
by Nicole Haitzinger
Russische Bildwelten in Bewegung – Bewegungstexte
by Claudie Jeschke
Nijinsky und Cecchetti. Zur Aufzeichnung von Ballet-Exercises
by Ann Hutchinson Guest & Claudia Jeschke
Liturgie (1915)
by Nicole Haitzinger
Die Geschichte des Balletts Die Hochzeit (Les Noces)
by Evgenia Ilyukhina
Unglückliche Liaison, Unvereinbarkeit der Charaktere oder späte Liebe? Die Ballets Russes und Mitteleuropa
by Gunhild Oberzaucher-Schüller
Stampfen, Wirbeln, wildes Trommeln. Zur Rezeption der Ballets Russes in Wien – Stationen von 1909 bis 1933
by Andrea Amort
»… ein neues Wort in der europäischen Kunst …« Sergei Diaghilew als Vermittler und Propagandist russischer Kultur
by Andreas Wehrmeyer
Wichtige Mitarbeiter der Ballets Russes
by Petra Kraus
Stückbeschreibungen ausgewählter Produktionen
by Petra Kraus
Die Tourneen im Überblick
by Petra Kraus

An exhibition sponsored by the Russian American Cultural Center (in two manifestations) had little direct connection with the Diaghilev company. Unfortunately, the one attributed Ballet Russes design (a Roerich ascribed to Sacre du printemps) is more probably related to some other production.

Hommage to Diaghilev: Enduring Legacy
The Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York
Mar 31, 2009 – June 30, 2009

Hommage to Diaghilev’s Enduring Legacy
Ana Tzarev Gallery, New York
Sept 17, 2009 – Oct 7, 2009

Catalog by Regina Khidekel

The designs can be viewed at:

A small display of items from the collection of Leon Woidzikowsky turned up in Delaware (!!!)

100th Anniversary of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes
Wilmington, Delaware
May 1, 2009 – May 22, 2009

Some of the collection can be seen at
There are also photos of the current Paris Opéra exhibition.

A pity that the Library of Congress has such limited space to show all the treasures they own. A small selection had to suffice.

Serge Diaghilev and His World: A Centennial Celebration of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, 1909 – 1929
Library of Congress, Washington DC
June 4, 2009 – Oct 10, 2009

Most of the contents of this exhibition can be viewed at

Italy has thrown its hat into the Ballets Russes arena.

“Les Ballets Russes” alla Scala Milano: Anni Venti
Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy
Dec 20, 2009 – Apr 30, 2010

I’ve not encountered any details other than the announcement at

Besides the current Paris Opéra exhibition there are two other Ballet Russes shows in progress in France.

First, an exhibition of costumes for 3 of Diaghilev’s opera productions (Boris Godunov, Khovantchina, Ivan le terrible).

Opéras russes, à l’aube des Ballets Russes 1901 – 1913
Centre National de Costume de Scène et de la Scénographie
Moulins (Auvergne), France
Dec 12, 2009 – May 16, 2010

Catalog by Martine Kahane, Mathias Auclair et Claude Fauque
(Paris: Éditions du Mécène. 2009) 160pp

The second emphasizes companies following in Diaghilev’s wake.
Dans le sillage des Ballets russes (1929 – 1959)
Centre National de la Danse
Pantin, France
Jan 6, 2010 – Apr 10, 2010

Catalog by Florence Poudru
(Paris, 2010) 128pp

There are some illustrations at

Finally, the promised Australian exhibition was rescheduled.

Ballets Russes: The Art of Costume
National Museum of Australia, Canberra
Originally: Dec 4, 2009 – Apr 26, 2010
Now: Dec 10. 2010 – Mar 20, 2011

#77 leonid17


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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:18 AM

Thank you phenby for posting even more information than we have already achieved.

#78 leonid17


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Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:49 AM

From BBC Press Release

The Ballet Russes In England Ep 1/2
Tuesday 23 February
11.30am-12.00 noon BBC RADIO 4

Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes is associated with its exotic Parisian premières, but the company performed in England more than anywhere else.

In this short series, Jane Pritchard, Curator Of Dance at the Victoria And Albert Museum, draws on evidence from the museum's archive to show how little of Britain's dance history can be taken for granted.

In the first programme, What Did Britain Do For Diaghilev?, Jane traces 20 years of the Ballets Russes in England via receipts, telegrams, costumes and letters. She explores the company's tours and how they triumphed, went bankrupt, survived rats, Spanish flu, a revolving stage, variety seasons when they danced between talented dogs and Grock the clown, and an audience which had never seen anything like it.

The second programme asks, What Did Diaghilev Do For Britain? In 1929 Diaghilev was dead. How would the bereft dancers, composer and artists – and audiences – who'd gathered around the Ballets Russes in London, keep his ideals alive?

From small beginnings, British and Irish ex-Diaghilev dancers went on to found our three major ballet companies. Former character dancers, like Alexander Grant, describe how the ballets were handed on by the company's Russian exiles. And dance lovers and dance makers try to get to the root of our ongoing romance with Diaghilev's Russian ballet.

Presenter/Jane Pritchard, Producer/Frances Byrnes

#79 innopac


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Posted 25 February 2010 - 12:16 PM

Link to program - active for a few days only.

#80 leonid17


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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:59 PM

Link to program - active for a few days only.

Thank you innopac. Goodness knows why I did not think of posting the link.

For those who have never heard Karsavina speak it is a rare treat.

#81 ViolinConcerto


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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:19 AM

Link to program - active for a few days only.

Not available outside the UK! :)

#82 rg


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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:29 AM

it worked from here yesterday...

#83 ViolinConcerto


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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:59 PM

Turns out it doesn't work on a mobile gizmo.

The next program is Tues, Mar. 2. What Diaghilev did for England.

#84 phenby



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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:50 PM

In the course of my Ballets Russes pilgrimage last November I viewed the two exhibitions in St Petersburg. While I was happy to have seen them, neither was equal to those of Stockholm or Moscow.

The posters announcing Dance: To the 100th Anniversary of Sergey Diaghilev’s Russian Seasons in Paris at the State Hermitage Museum were all over the city. Finding the actual display in the labyrinth of the Hermitage was another thing, however. In fact, I walked right through it the first time thinking what I saw was in some way a teaser for the real thing. But that was it: a handful of original costume designs and a score of production photographs thrown on a wall with little thought of identifying in any detail what you were looking at. No catalog, no brochure, not even a Xeroxed flier. None of the photos were unknown to me (a couple were more probably Maryinsky productions). The nine (yes, NINE !) original designs were a delight but after the poster build-up I felt a little short-changed. For the curious I append a list:

Benois: Le Pavillon d’Armide: set design
Benois: Giselle: 2 costume designs
Benois: Petrushka: 2 costume designs
Bakst: Narcisse: 2 costume designs
Ansifeld: Sadko: 2 costume designs

There were also 4 costume designs by the last-named for Pavlova’s Seven Daughters of the Mountain King (1912).

Diaghilev was the focus of another, much larger, exhibition at The Russian Museum (Benois Wing) entitled Diaghilev, The Beginning. This exhibition, occupying 5 large galleries, focused on the early career of Diaghilev as the producer of several Russian art exhibitions (1898 – 1905). While nothing in this notable exhibition related to the Ballets Russes in particular or the dance in general, everything informed the viewer about the evolution of artistic taste that took place in the mind of the young Diaghilev and the artistic and aristocratic contacts that he cultivated. The very size of the art exhibitions he produced was staggering! Aside from the question of his artistic choices it became obvious Diaghilev had organizational skills that were unequalled.
A nicely-produced volume of essays and reproductions was issued in conjunction with the exhibition in both Russian and English editions:

Diaghilev: The Beginning
Edited by Evgenia Petrova
(St Petersburg: Palace Editions, 2009), 255pp

Teriffic scholarship but nothing on the Ballets Russes. I think only of interest to the completist (or fanatic?).

PHENBY (who must be a fanatic to travel around the world to see Ballets Russes exhibitions)

#85 leonid17


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Posted 27 February 2010 - 04:03 PM

Once again phenby, thank you for posting so much information on the Diaghilev Ballet Russe celebration.

#86 volcanohunter


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Posted 15 March 2010 - 01:04 AM

One more feature from French television, this time about The Firebird.

#87 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:15 PM

DanceLoverUK has put up some excerpts from Ross MacGibbon's BBC Documentary on the Ballets Russes "For Arts Sake: The Story of the Ballets Russes"... some marvelous stuff in it.

#88 carbro


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Posted 24 April 2010 - 10:39 AM

Thank you, Amy. I couldn't tear myself away and watched the whole show. It was very well done, with a wide variety of commentators, and drawing on several different companies for clips (including the Joffrey with Nureyev in Faune).

One point I hadn't previously considered, that during its first London (?) season, the great hit of Diaghilev's BR was Polovtsian Dances, satisfying the audience's desire for Russian primitivism. Le Sacre du Printemps was a we-can-top-that response aimed at fanning the same embers. We've all heard how it succeeded! And of course, Les Noces is another example of this new genre.

#89 Amy Reusch

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 08:02 PM

It drew my attention to the Princess de Polignac... quite the patroness!! I'm very impressed with the Singer family... between sponsoring Isadora Duncan & Serge Diaghilev... the dance world is considerably in their debt...

#90 CM


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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:42 PM

Christopher Cook and Sarah Woodcock discuss a costume designed by Nicholas Roerich for the Rite of Spring (2004 audio)


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