Fuck Yeah Ballets Russes!
Vaslav Nijinsky and the performers and personalities of the original Ballets Russes.
Curated by Alex.
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Seen here at the top, from left to right, are: Tamara Karsavina and her friend King Charles Loulou; Catherine Gheltzer; Vaslav Nijinsky in “Scheherazade;” Ida Rubinstein in “Scheherazade;” Lydia Lopokova in “Le Festin;” and Catherine Gheltzer. All these photos are by Bert (June 15, 1910)


Seen here at the top, from left to right, are: Tamara Karsavina and her friend King Charles Loulou; Catherine Gheltzer; Vaslav Nijinsky in “Scheherazade;” Ida Rubinstein in “Scheherazade;” Lydia Lopokova in “Le Festin;” and Catherine Gheltzer. All these photos are by Bert (June 15, 1910)
suzu1arbre:

Ballets Russes

emilia-tsukawaki:

Lubov Tchernicheva- Harvard library collection 

Anonymous: What is the best film about Vaslav? Is the 1980 film Nijinsky good? Your blog is awesome by the way, I'm so glad I found it!

I love the 1980 film a great deal — it used to be quite hard to find if you didn’t have a VHS player, but it was recently rereleased on DVD/Blu-Ray, so other Ballets Russes films should have better luck than I did. It shows its age in some parts, but it’s definitely an enjoyable film for BR fans.

I haven’t seen the whole film, but the Rite of Spring scenes in Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky are electrifying. I’ve heard good and bad things about the rest of the film but that’s up to the individual to decide, I suppose. (Just that scene has been uploaded to Dailymotion, if anyone would like to take a look!)

Other films about Vaslav include a 2001 Australian film adapting his diaries and the 2005 film Riot At The Rite, which I haven’t been able to get my hands on.

As for films indirectly about Vaslav, there’s a definite Ballets Russes influence on Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes, and the main character has elements of both Vaslav and Romola. It’s an absolutely splendid film and I’d strongly recommend it to anyone. (It also has Léonide Massine in its cast as one of Lermontov’s creative team, which must have been a little awkward!)

Gladys de Grey and Covent Garden →

I was reading Edwardian Promenade for unrelated research purposes and found this blog entry about one of the individuals who introduced the Ballets Russes to London! Well worth a look.

Tagged: (Anonymous)
Anonymous: I love your blog, it is amazing. I just wanted to ask, what is the best book about Vaslav Nijinsky?

Thank you, anon!

I can’t speak to the best academic texts, but I really enjoyed Joan Accocella’s commentary on Nijinsky’s diary, and I’d strongly recommending reading his (unexpurgated) diary to anyone with an interest in him. It’s difficult reading in parts due to his deteriorating mental health, and it’s quite painful in others, but it’s illuminating and interesting to get Vaslav’s own self-assessment and internal thoughts rather than the observations of others.

books0977:

Ballet L’Oiseau de Feu (1913). Illustration by René Bull. The Russian Ballet. A. E. Johnson. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913.

The Firebird (French: L’oiseau de feu) is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company, with choreography by Michel Fokine. The ballet is based on Russian folk tales of the magical glowing bird that can be both a blessing and a curse to its owner.

books0977:

Ballet L’Oiseau de Feu (1913). Illustration by René Bull. The Russian Ballet. A. E. Johnson. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913.
The Firebird (French: L’oiseau de feu) is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company, with choreography by Michel Fokine. The ballet is based on Russian folk tales of the magical glowing bird that can be both a blessing and a curse to its owner.