Sergei Diaghilev: His Legacy

1533 Words7 Pages
The world of ballet has never been the same, having survived the Russian Revolution and World War I. The man behind the creative revolution was Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, whom for 20 years had brought together the most brilliant artists of his day. He was an art critic, art manager, and most significantly, the founder of the legendary ballet company, Ballets Russes. It is of my genuine curiosity to learn more about the heart and brains of the great Ballets Russes, where it had spawned numerous famous dancers and had collaborated with many talented artists, and also made a significant turn in the history of ballet as well as influenced the ballet of as we know of today. The Ballets Russes was only one of the few collaboration with artists that Diaghilev had produced. Paris had proven to be the perfect soil for Diaghilev to plant his artistic vision in, and it is the aim of this essay to illustrate the significance of Paris and its social and cultural effect on the work, ideas and strategies of Sergei Diaghilev had his Ballets Russes. Diaghilev started working for the Imperial Theatre in Russia in 1900 and together with fellow art critic and stage designer Alexandre Benois concocted an extravagant performance which startled the established personnel of the Imperial Theatre. It caused his expulsion from the theatre and was subsequently frowned upon as a social stigma by the nobilities, partly due to Diaghilev’s homosexuality. Paris, where artists from all over the world flocked to, was in the peak of an artistic innovation and expression. Ballet was losing its Parisian audiences, then, mainly due to the fact that many male roles were played by females. In the beginning when Diaghilev started his ballet company, the Ballets Russes (Russian Ballet in French), most of his dancers were Russian girls and boys whom families had taken refuge in Paris. The Russian
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