Buzzing with Ballets Russes

Theatre and Performance
December 3, 2010

As the V&A is currently more or less barricaded by road works making it a dangerous place to reach, the entrance along the South Kensington Tunnel has been opened early for staff, meaning we may enter through the Sackler Centre (the heart of Learning & Interpretation). To my delight I was greeted at 8am on a gloomy morning by wonderfully cheerful banners produced by the Blue Train project showing a portrait of Big Serge himself and an interpretation of the Train bleu front cloth.

This focused my mind on all the activities going on around the exhibition – on Wednesday Geoff and I talked to those on the short course The Making of Modern Theatre (a rare double act for us!). Yesterday I saw some of the inventive work made by one of Keith’s set model making groups all inspired by The Firebird, and this evening the Blue Train is taking us on a mystery tour. The Blue Train is a young creative collective working on projects inspired by the Ballets Russes. They will be performing at the museum on Saturday 11 December (alas I will miss that as I’ll not be back from a lecture on the Ballets Russes to the American Friends of the V&A in New York).

The men in La Chatte Photo by Sasha V&A Images.

Tomorrow, Saturday, of course sees the Ballets Russes Study Day (stay out of the snow, escape to the V&A!). There has had to be a last minute change to the programme with Theodora Clarke of University of Bristol is replacing Antony Parton (who has had to pull out for family reasons not snow) talking on Art on Stage: Diaghilev and the Russian Avant-Garde Theodora is studying the work of Naum Gabo and La Chatte for her phd and her presentation will highlight two fascinating Ballets Russes productions – Coq d’or and La Chatte.

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