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Picasso and BalletPhotos and Videos

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#1 pherank


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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:01 PM

"Between 1917 and 1962, Picasso was involved in creating the designs for nine ballets ... in collaboration with such artists as Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Léonide Massine and Vaslav Nijinsky."


I know of these, but let me know about the 4 missing ballets (presumably post-1924) -

Parade from 1917
Le Tricorne from 1919
Pulcinella from 1920
L'Après-midi d'un Faune from 1922 (Picasso painted the backdrop to replace the original version)
Le Train Bleu from 1924
Mercure from 1924 (backdrop and libretto)

Below are some short sections from Parade, 1917
Libretto: Jean Cocteau
Music: Erik Satie
Costumes and Stage Designs: Pablo Picasso
Choreography: Leonide Massine

The Chinese Conjurer solo (danced by Gary Chryst) appears in two films:

The Joffrey Ballet | American Masters

The Ballet Russes documentary

Rome Opera Ballet, Two Acrobats segment from Parade:

The Two Acrobats (danced by Mario Marozzi and Simona Onidi):

Parade footage from "Picasso and Dance/Europa Dance" -
Dancing Cubist sculptures, Chinese Conjurer, the Little American Girl

Dancing Cubist horse "solo":

Footage from Parade revival at Expo Danse la Vie à Beaubourg 2012:

In this gala footage, Parade segment appears at 1:20 sec. There is dancing Cubist sculpture, Chinese Conjurer, American Girl, Horse footage:


Picasso's costume for "The Managers":



#2 pherank


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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:06 PM

Le Train Bleu



Le Train Bleu - POB: Elisabeth Maurin, Nicolas Le Riche


Picasso's front cloth design:



Le Tricorne


Quick glimpse of Picasso's costumes in Australian Museum:

Some of Massine's choreography - José Martinez:


Patrick Dupond:

#3 pherank


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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:45 PM

Picasso's Mercure Tapestry:


#4 pherank


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 03:03 PM

I'm reviving this old thread just because I see there is some recent video of a Parade performance by Europa Danse (apparently using the Joffrey Ballet's restoration of Parade as a model):



#5 Quiggin


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Posted 29 August 2015 - 03:23 PM

Thanks, pherank, for pulling this all together in one place. In addition to the curtain, Picaaso did the sets and costumes for Mercure which were as important for his painting - in scale and razzle dazzle motif - as the costume constructions of Parade were for his sculpture work. Ballet in the early twenties was Picassos's R&D studio (:Elizabeth Cowling).

John Richardson, P's biographer, says Mercure was full of in-jokes. The Three Graces, men in drag, are supposed to be Auric, Poulenc and Laloy - and there are other digs at Paul Poiret, Diaghilev, and Cyril Beaumont. Mercure steals the pearls of the Graces who represent Wagner's Rhine maidens - Wanger one of Satie's bete noirs acc to Richardson. Picasso filled three notebooks with sketches for the ballet which was only eight minutes long, Massine's choreography radical and abstract.

Two images from Picasso Museum in Barcelona -

Mercure, Danse of the Three Graces and Cerberus, 1924


Still-life with Guitar, Juan-les-Pins, 1924

Concurrent with Mercure "Picasso painted a series of still-lives where a restricted dramatis personae of objects (musical instruments, bottles and bowls) are presented like actors on stage-like tables, often in front of outdoor backdrops."


Another Mercure-derived painting. "The raked floor suggests a stage; the space between the table legs recalls a orchestra pit or prompter's box." Cowling / Jean Boggs


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