Significant centenaries in 2011


Costume design by Léon Bakst for Papillon in Le Carnaval a ballet included in the first performance by the Ballets Russes in London in 1911.V&A Images

On the eve of 2011 it is appropriate to remind readers of this blog that the year includes two particularly significant centenaries.

Nijinsky as Albrecht in Giselle Act II Photo Bert (V&A Images)

6 April is the centenary of the first performance of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The first performance by the actual company was presented at the Monte Carlo Opera House and the programme was Giselle paired with Schéhérazade.


Five dancers posing in costumes from Le Pavillon d’Armide in January 1916 when the ballet was danced for the last time(Valentine Zamuhowska, Valentina Kachouba, Lubov Soumarokova, Olga Khokhlova, Anna Soumarokova)

21 June is the centenary of the first performance by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in England. This was at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the programme was Le Pavillon d’Armide, Le Carnaval and the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor.

This is possibly a good moment to suggest that if you are London-based and wondering how to fill up you holiday you could do worse that follow in Diaghilev’s footsteps around London – download the Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes London Walk from the V&A website

Happy New Year