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Need your quick Diaghilev - not to mention Stravinsky, Picasso and Nijinsky - fix?  

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is hosting Diaghilev's Theater of Marvels: The Ballets Russes and Its Aftermath, curated by dance historian Lynn Garafola.  The exhibition is one of many around the world celebrating the centennial of the first performance of the legendary Ballet Russes, founded in 1909 by Serge Diaghilev, and known for having transformed 20th century ballet.  The NYPL for the PA's exhibition displays scores, costume and set designs, diaries, archival footage, as well as documentary film, that captures the spirit of the company's groundbreaking work.  The Ballet Ruses show us that, when done right, collaboration between artist, choreographer and composer is not just possible, but genius (see bold text in "Itching for more?" below).

For art historians and students, this is a must see!

Can't make it this week? The exhibition will continue through September 12th at:

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

40 Lincoln Center Plaza, NY, NY


Hours: Tues, Wed & Friday 11-6; Mon, Thurs 12-8; Sat 10-6


Itching for more? Read on for historical content on the Ballet Russes hot off the press from The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts:

"Founded in 1909 by the Russian impresario extraordinaire Serge Diaghilev, the Ballets Russes taught audiences to hear, see, and respond to the art of the moving body in unprecedented ways. For the 20 years of its existence, a new repertory came into being—now-classic works like Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides and Petrouchka, Vaslav Nijinsky's L'Après-midi d'un Faune, and George Balanchine's Apollon Musagète and Prodigal Son—choreographed by artists whose talents Diaghilev was quick to discern and passionate to guide. He carried his quest for new expressive forms to music and design, commissioning scores from Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Manuel de Falla, Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc, and Darius Milhaud, thus creating a new body of work both for ballet and for the concert hall. The list of his painters, headed by Pablo Picasso, Natalia Goncharova, and Henri Matisse, reads like a who's who of international modernism, underscoring the fact that Diaghilev's stage also served as a gallery of modern art.

The influence of the Ballets Russes reverberated throughout the dance world. After his death in 1929, this legacy was most closely identified with the companies directed by Colonel Wassily de Basil and Sergei Denham that took over not only the name of their legendary predecessor but also selected repertory, personnel, and an increasingly diluted notion of Russianness.

To celebrate the centennial of the Ballets Russes, Diaghilev's Theater of Marvels will depict this remarkable era of 20th-century dance history through visual, documentary, and recorded materials from various divisions of The New York Public Library. Drawing on the unparalleled resources of the Library's Slavic and East European Collections, which include the book collections of Diaghilev's two greatest Imperial patrons, Grand Dukes Vladimir and Sergei, the exhibition will highlight Diaghilev's St. Petersburg career as an exhibition curator, author, and the founding editor of the art journal Mir iskusstva. His career as the indefatigable captain of the Ballets Russes, his passionate quest for new forms, commitment to developing young talent, and far-ranging influence will be told through the Jerome Robbins Dance Division's dazzling collection of designs, drawings, photos, souvenir programs, rare books, scrapbooks, magazines, and archival documents, including one of Diaghilev's "black books," in which he jotted notes about repertory and other matters, as well as artifacts from the Music and Billy Rose Theatre divisions, and a small number of private and institutional lenders."


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