Monday, October 4, 2010

Take Me to the Ballet Russes!

If I could pick any time period to live in, save for the sixties of course, it'd be Paris from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. To my mind, never has there been such an intermingling of creative forces all at the same time! Just think about it for a sec... within the span of 30 or so years, everyone from Schiaparelli to Cocteau, Matisse, Breton, Delaunay, Dali, Sartre and Man Ray (there are like 100 major movements to cover here) inhabited the same coffee houses, sidewalks, cinemas... the mere fantasy of it blows my mind. Just one of my favourite things going on in that span of time, was Sergei Diaghilev's famed Ballet Russes.

Completely revolutionary at the time, the vibrant, zig-zagging shots of colour and movement that encompassed everything from fauvism to cubism are still the most fascinating of any major company (that I know of at least!) Sets by Matisse and Picasso! Costumes by Chanel! Music by Stravinsky, Satie and my personal fave Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune! And let's not forget about the revolutionary dancing... Nijinsky playing both male and female leads, masturbating on stage, being ditched for Léonide Massine in Diaghilev's jealousy! Jesus, right?

The V&A just opened an exhibit on the Ballet, Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, which if you live in London, I’m sure you know all about! There will be some of the costumes, photos and drops that you see here plus loads more. I’m MAJOR jeals… so let a girl know how it is, will ya? For a sneak peek of the exhibit, check out the video below! For those of you who won't be able to make it, like this poor soul... check out the amazing documentary done a few years back, Ballet Russes which follows the trajectory of the group's history as well as features archived footage and interview with the groups youngest members (though most were only present for the Balanchine era). It's truly a delight.


No comments:

Post a Comment