Tag: Vaslav Nijinksky

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The Saga of Letitia and Rachel

The Saga of Letitla and Rachel

One of the unexpected pleasures of cataloguing a collection is when hidden treasures are discovered hidden behind dry archive descriptions, such as: “ANONYMOUS : Caricatures The Saga of Letitia and Rachel.  Drawings (23) satirizing a contemporary incident (?).  English, c.1910.” From the first image, my attention was grabbed by these high-quality charming drawings, far too […]

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A treat on screen

I am still getting complains why don’t we include film of Nijinsky dancing in the exhibition. My response is if I’d found such film, unless it was truly ghastly, I’d have included it. However on the film front Henry Miller has an interesting article on the guardian’s film blog: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2010/dec/22/diaghilev-ballets-russes-british-cinema This refers to the proposed film of The Sleeping Princess in 1921-22 which was never realised. What is most interesting is that Henry has identified a further segment of Dancing Grace showing Lydia Lopokova dancing in her Can-can costume from La Boutique Fantasque. In the BF&TVA’s version from Eve’s Film …

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The Faun gets around

Una Troubridge’s head of Nijinsky in L’Après-midi d’un faune as displayed in Diaghilev at Forbes House 1954. For a bit of light relief I saw the Noel Coward play, Design for Living, at the Old Vic and who appeared on stage but our friend Nijinsky. To be more specific there, in the last act, set in a 1930s New York apartment stuffed with paintings, was a copy of Una Troubridge’s wonderful bust of Nijinsky as the Faun in 1912. Lez Brotherstone, who designed the set (and has always been very generous to the Theatre & Performance Collections), is clearly fascinated …

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The end of installation

It really is busy – all our last loans have arrived so those gaps on the walls are being filled. The couture fashions look stunning and really serve their purpose – you can clearly see the influence of Bakst, Picasso, Goncharova and Matisse and wouldn’t it be fun to wear such outfits! The two cartoons by Jean Cocteau are the last objects to go into the Nijinsky section. These show Nijinsky and Diaghilev in Le Spectre de la rose. No that is not a mistake Diaghilev has been drawn with bonnet, cape and rose as the Young Girl, an ironic …

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The Nijinsky case is being filled today. This includes both costumes we know he danced in and two mysteries – perhaps they will be solved by visitors. We have two versions of the costume for the Prince in Le Festin  – why? The first was made in Russiaand is very worn – how did Nijinsky […]

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‘On yer bike’

Today is the first day of installation of the objects – an exciting moment as one wonders just how everything will really look. We begin with challenges to get the 1909 poster with Serov’s wonderful drawing of Anna Pavlova into one case and Boris Godunov’s wonderful robes into another. The poster just fits through the door but there is a problem with Boris. We have lost his head! Sarah says she know where it must be in the Theatre & Performance Collections at Blythe House so hops on her bike and cycles to Olympia. She returns to the galleries with …

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Late – or early?

Yet another e-mail has arrivedfrom a kind person saying that the V&A is late in mounting their exhibition. I’ve been receiving these ever since the exhibition’s dates were announced. Well exact dates to mark the birth of a company are usually dictated by company propaganda and it is always worth looking at what is being celebrated. Diaghilev’s ‘Saisons Russes’ began in Paris in 1906 with his exhibition of Russian artfollowed by concerts of Russian musicin 1907, the opera Boris Godunov in 1908 and the first evenings dominated by ballet in 1909. But there was no company in 1909. In modern …

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