This exhibition will showcase the glamour and magic of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, exploring its origin and legacy 100 years after its first performance.
V&A Museums – Coming in 2010 – Available from 2011. Victoria and Albert Theatre Collection in London.
This exhibition will showcase the glamour and magic of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, exploring its origin and legacy 100 years after its first performance. Diaghilev himself was a larger than life creative personality and his artists included such luminaries as George Balanchine, Coco Chanel, Robert Delaunay, Natalia Goncharova, Vaslav Nijinsky and Pablo Picasso. The V&A’s significant holdings of costumes, designs, images, programmes and related material will illustrate the creative process of dance and the Ballet’s impact on design, music and artistic sensibility.
This major retrospective will examine the origins, development and long term influence of the Ballets Russes, to celebrate the centenary of their first appearance in 1909. Diaghilev’s extraordinary company, which survived a twenty-year rollercoaster of phenomenal successes and crippling problems, revolutionised ballet. As importantly, Diaghilev’s use of avant-garde composers, such as Stravinsky and designers such as Bakst, Goncharova, Picasso and Matisse, made a major contribution to the introduction of Modernism.
Museum staff are currently researching the exhibition and would be interested to hear from any individuals who have relevant private material. In particular, a large number of original costumes were dispersed at the Sotheby’s auctions in the early 1970s. So if you have an original costume still hanging in your wardrobe, we would be delighted to hear from you.