Reviews are out and we do like those with five stars. Several important choreographers working in Britain have been asked to comment on the exhibition on radio and it has been particularly satisfying that they seem to have liked our section on choreographers and choreography.
Bakst's design for the Young Rajah chosen by Shobana Jeyasingh
For Front Row Javier de Frutos, Shobana Jeyasingh and Richard Alston were asked to select one object to talk about and they respectively chose Diaghilev caricatured by Jean Cocteau as the Young Girl in Le Spectre de la rose, Léon Bakst’s design for the Young Rajah in Le Dieu Bleu and Natalia Goncharova’s stunning backcloth for The Firebird.
Cocteau's caricature chosen by Javier de Frutos
Everyone seemed to think I’d have a quiet weekend. Not a hope. On Saturday I contributed two presentations to a study day on the Ballets Russes organised by Arts Pursuits and on Sunday there was both a screening of Nijinsky God of the Dance at the BFI Southbank and Simon Callow appeared as Diaghilev in the premiere of The Lightening Conductor at the Hampstead Festival (this years focusing on the Ballets Russes).
Monday saw more press visits and in the evening it was back to Hampstead for the screening of Four Emperors, One Nightingale and a Ballet that was lost the story of production of Le Chant du rossignol mounted by Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer inspired by George Balanchine’s 1925 production. It was fascinating seeing it a second time (it was previously shown in London in 2004), especially with all my new knowledge about the Ballets Russes. Slightly embarrassing too as the V&A staff handle costumes so much more carefully now than when the film was made. The interview sections were largely taken from John Drummond’s 1968 Omnibus: the Years in Exile and Peter Adams’ 1979 programme Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev 1872-1929 both of which will be screened this weekend at the BFI Southbank as part of the From the Ballets Russes season.