Sergei Diaghilev’s Example: The Case of George Balanchine

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Abstract

In 1925 George Balanchine joined the Ballets Russes, the ballet company directed by Sergei Diaghilev, when he was just twenty years old. Many of the elements of his mature art can be traced to his time with the mesmerizing Diaghilev, who controlled virtually every aspect of his troupe’s activities.

Experiment

A Journal of Russian Culture

Sections

References

6)

Danilova, pp. 70, 71.

9)

Danilova, p. 89.

18)

Duke, p. 141.

22)

Geva interviewed by Reynolds, 1976.

23)

Taper, p. 150.

29)

Duke, pp. 113, 159.

Figures

  • Page from Diaghilev’s notebook of 1926-29 showing his ideas about programming. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
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  • Hugh Laing in Prodigal Son. Music by Sergei Prokofijiev and costumes by Georges Rouault, performed by the New York City Ballet, 1950s. Photograph: Walter E. Owen.
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  • Page from Diaghilev’s notebook of 1926-29 in a section devoted to The Triumph of Neptune, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Photograph courtesy of Camille Hardy.
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  • Felia Doubrovska in Apollon Musagète. Music: Igor Stravinsky. Costumes and scenery: André Bauchant, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, 1928.
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  • The Spellbound Child (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges). Costume designs by Aline Bernstein. Ballet Society, 1946.
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  • Serge Lifar and Alexandra Danilova in Le Bal. Music by Vittorio Rieti and scenery and costumes by Giorgio de Chirico, performed by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, 1929.
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  • Felia Doubrovska and Serge Lifar in La Pastorale. Music by Georges Auric and scenery and costumes by Pedro Pruna, performed by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, 1926.
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  • “Romeo and Juliet” ballet from The Goldwyn Follies. Ballet music by Vernon Duke. Released by United Artists, 1938.
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  • Tanaquil Le Clercq and Jerome Robbins in Bourrée Fantasque. Music by Emmanuel Chabrier and costumes by Barbara Karinska, performed by New York City Ballet, 1949.
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  • Diana Adams, Herbert Bliss, Patricia Wilde, Roy Tobias, Nicholas Magallanes, and Tanaquil Le Clercq in A Musical Joke. Music by W. A. Mozart and costumes by Barbara Karinska, performed at the Mozart Festival, American Shakespeare Festival Theatre, Stratford, Connecticut, 1956.
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  • Errante. Design for fijinal curtain by Pavel Tchelitchew performed by Les Ballets 1933, 1933. Theatre and Performance Collections, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
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  • Olga Mungalova and Petr Gusev in choreographic studies performed by the Petrograd Theater School, 1923. Glinka Museum of Theatrical and Musical Art, St. Petersburg.
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