The big excitement today is the arrival of the lighting team. Sudden the area we call ‘the prop store’ is not just a black hole. Not only is the exhibition beginning to be lit but the old theatre lights are being inserted in the display. From the start I felt we need to include old lights as throughout the C20th lighting for dance has been important. The Ballets Russes was a company that pioneered new theatrical lighting and at times when he was asked what he did Diaghilev would respond ‘I supervise the lighting’. Of course he did a great deal more – he was a true artistic director/producer. One of the old lights matches the light in the wings in Laura Knight’s painting of Olga Spessivtseva putting on her shoes to dance the Rose Adagio in The Sleeping Princess. It is an atmospheric painting; Knight was at her best capturing life backstage.
A Battery Shelled by Wyndham Lewis arrives from the Imperial War Museum
The coverage of the exhibition with preview articles in the press this weekend was good. Many journalists have become excited by the costumes and in the run up to the installation a few were given a sneak preview of a selection.