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Greetings from a gymnastics painter


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Greetings - Just registered, have been visiting on and off for a few months. Great discussions. I am an artist and have done some paintings of ballet dancers but specialize in gymnastics.

Would like to find photos of an older Soviet production of the ballet Spartacus with the heavier male dancers. I was thinking of one photo in particular that I loved but don't know the technical ballet terms for the pose of the male and female dancer.

Are there any sites with basic descriptions of poses and movement with illustrations?

I love finding new photos of Nijinsky and Karsavina. I have read that he helped to choreograph Rite of Spring and was to dance but had a breakdown before it was staged. Are there any photos of Nijinsky rehearsing this role?

The gymnast Olga Strazheva has a beautifully choreographed floor exercise supposedly based on Stravinsky's drawings for the ballet. About 30 seconds of the 90 second floor exercise is of the protagonist waking up and stretching her limbs but I have not been able to find any of Stravinsky's drawings online and I wonder if there is a site tucked away with these drawings that might not appear in a basic google search.

Thank you.

(Can't wait to be able to use the search function for Ballet Talk to look up Nijinsky and Karsavina.) :)

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Glad you finally delurked, Ladanova, and I hope you'll jump into any discussions. I'm sure that with your artist's eye, your perspective (no pun intended) might lead to a slightly different interpretation. We'd love to hear.

I can't direct you to any sites for the illustrations you mention, but as you've noticed, some of our members have a great wealth of knowledge in these matters.

Good luck! And welcome to BalletTalk!

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Ladanova, I hope that others will direct you to collections of the Nijinsky photos you're looking for. For a start, Google Images has quite a a few photos. I've just been looking at two books which seem a propos: Richard Buckle's Diaghilev and Lynn Garafola's Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Something that would be harder to find is Buckle's In Search of Diaghilev, published in conjunction with the Diaghilev Exhibition which Buckle organized in Edinburgh in 1954. There are at least 10 wonderful photos and drawings of Nijinsky, some of which I've not seen elsewhere.

If you want to see the quality of movement that Nijinsky put into his Afternoon of a Faun, there's a 9 minute plus video of Rudolf Nureyev doing the piece in a reconstruction of the original production. It's on YouTube. Type in "nureyev" and "faun" to bring it up.

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