The virtuosity and charisma of Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) were such that no one who saw him perform, it was claimed, ever forgot him. He transformed himself for each role he danced. Trained in the Russian Imperial Ballet, he was an instant success on the Parisian stage from the Ballets Russes' first season in 1909. Audiences had not seen an equivalent male dancer for more than two decades.