Back to the beginning

Now that there is only three and a half weeks left to catch this exhibition I thought we’d go back to the beginning and show you the video made at the opening! (Apologies for the hideous opening image.) Its fascinating too to recall the changes that have been introduced since September. More seating has been introduced, barriers have been moved, some labelling improved (we are sensitive to visitors comments) and the sound levels overall have become better balanced.

This is one of several videos than can be found if you go to the V&A Channel on the V&A’s website and click on Diaghilev. My favourite interview is where Julian Barran is talking about the Sotheby auctions in the 1960s and how on joining the auction house he was sent off to sort the accessories for costumes. It is still hugely challenging for curators to identify which accessories belong with which costume and its hardly surprising wrong shoes and belts were sold with certain lots. What is so interesting is to understand how the muddle started. Now curators working on the costume collections across the world will contact each other asking ‘have you seen…’

It’s also fun to hear Tim Hatley, our concept designer talking about what made him want to venture into designing this exhibition. Certainly his backstage theme and the constant surprises visitors receive as they turn corners in the exhibition have worked very well.

The introduction to choreography video is also viewable on the V&A Channel. For this Richard Alston created a minute of new choreography to show the process of creating dance in a studio. Yesterday Richard was a guest at the Director’s Circle Breakfast at which he explained how for the recording he had deliberately selected to use music that was easy on the ear and would blend in with other music in the gallery. He also talked about when Tim Hatley was starting out as a theatre designer he had won the Linbury Prize which was to design Richard’s work, Roughcut, for Rambert Dance Company.