Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, CaixaForum Barcelona
Exhibitions: Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes 1909/1929. When art dances with music.
Serge Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872- 1929) dictator, devil, charlatan, sorcerer, charmer was a man whose unique character and driving ambition caused a ferment in European culture. His greatest achievement was his dance company – the Ballets Russes. Created a century ago, the productions of the Ballets Russes revolutionised early 20th-century arts and continue to influence cultural activity today.
From the 5 October 2011 to the 15 January 2012.
Diaghilev shared his family’s love of music and as his early career involved creating Russia’s first fine art periodical he was introduced to many practising artists. When opportunity led him to Paris he recognised the potential to revitalise the dance scene by commissioning productions from the finest artists, choreographers and composers, so that art would dance with music in the theatre.
Spain provided a haven for the Ballets Russes during the 1914-18 War when it was impossible to tour the cities and theatres in which it had triumphed in its earlier years. After six months in Switzer-land in1915 where the company was reformed and a first tour to the USA, they made Spain their base and Russian, French and Spanish artists grouped around Diaghilev and his creative energy. Alfonso XIII supported the Com-pany enabling them to perform in Madrid, Barcelona and tour the country.
He also helped them to return to London, where they triumphed spectacularly in 1918 and 1919.Once peace was restored, Diaghilev’s company continued to visit and perform in Spain. Barcelona proved a convenient starting point for tours after the Winter Monte Carlo seasons of the 1920s. Spanish artists took on increasing impor-tance after Josep Maria Sert became the first non-Russian to design a ballet for Diaghilev. They included Juan Gris, Joan Miro, Pedro Pruna and above all Pablo Picasso – all of whom not only designed sets and costumes, but illustrated the company and contributed to the deluxe programmes the Ballets Russes produced.Spanish composers (most notably Manuel de Falla), conductors and dancers joined Diaghilev’s company and in 1921, at the recommendation of British impresario C. B. Cochran, a troupe of Spanish dancers presented Cuadro Flamenco in Paris and London.
Although many of the proposed ballets portraying Spain did not materialise, Las Meninas, inspired by Velázquez’s great
painting, was premiered at San Sebastian in 1916. The Three-cornered Hat, first performed in London in 1919, capturedaudiences’ imagination throughout Europe as Léonide Massine combined elements newly learnt from Spanish dance with ballet and Picasso’s sets evoked a Spain of the imagination.
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SERIES OF TALKS
“The Diaghilev eraThe Russian Ballet Companies and the eruption of the avant-garde in art”
Thursday, October 20, 2011, 7.30 pm
“THE ART OF MAKING ART POSSIBLE: DIAGHILEV, IMPRESARIO, MANIPULATOR, CREATOR”
Given by Sjeng Scheijen, Russian Arts specialist, University of Leiden (Holland)
Thursday, October 27, 2011, 7.30 pm
“THE CHOREOGRAPHIC LEGACY OF DIAGHILEV’S RUSSIAN BALLETS: TRADITION, REVOLUTION AND THAT ‘JE NE SAIS QUOI’”. Given by Ana Abad Carlés, choreographer and dance historian.
Thursday, November 3, 2011, 7.30 pm
“THE RUSSIAN BALLET COMPANIES AND FASHION: FROM THE STAGE TO THE STREET”
Given by Guillermo de Osma, art and fashion historian and gallery owner.
Thursday, November 10, 2011, 7.30 pm
“DIAGHILEV AND THE AVANT-GARDE SENSIBILITY”
Given by José Francisco Yvars, art historian
Monday, November 14, 2011, 7.30 pm
“DIAGHILEV AND HIS COMPOSERS. MUSIC FOR DANCE”
Given by Santiago Martín Bermúdez, dramatist and music critic Coordinated by Miquel Cuenca, music critic.
The unruly children of Terpsichore Five essential choreographers of the XXth century.
Sunday, October 2, 7.30 pm
THE TRAGEDY OF THE FAUNE: VASLAV NIJINSKY
Revoir Nijinsky danser. Dir.: Hervé Nisic
L’Après-midi d’un faune, with Charles Jude and Marie-Claude Pietragalla. Ballet of the Paris National Opera.
Sunday, October 16, 7.30 pm
AN AMERICAN PIONEER: MARTHA GRAHAM
Five Dances by Martha Graham. Dir.: Peter Mumford
Sunday, October 30, 7.30 pm
THE INHERITANCE OF THE RUSSIAN BALLET COMPANIES: GEORGE BALANCHINE
Serenade and Agon (by the New York City Ballet)
Sunday, November 13, 7.30 pm
EXPRESSIONISM AND THEATRE-DANCE: PINA BAUSCH
Café Müller. Dir.: Pina Bausch
Sunday, November 27, 7.30 pm
THE CHOREOGRAPHER OF CHAOS: MERCE CUNNINGHAM
Changing Steps. Dir.: Elliot Caplan and Merce Cunningham
- Cycle coordinated by: Miquel Cuenca, music critic, and Víctor Molina, lecturer in Dramaturgy, Dramatic Literature, Contemporary theatre and Aesthetics at the Institute of Theatre, Barcelona. All the sessions are introduced by Víctor Molina.
The Springs of the Rite
Choreographic variations on Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring
Friday, November 11, 7.30 pm
THE SCANDAL OF THE NEW: VASLAV NIJINSKY (1913)
Friday, November 18, 7.30 pm
THE MASTER-PIECE OF THE GREAT SEDUCER: MAURICE BÉJART (1959)
Friday, November 25, 7.30 pm
FROM STRAVINSKY TO WUPPERTAL: PINA BAUSCH (1975).
Friday, December 2, 7.30 pm
THE RITE (or DERITUALISING) OF SPRING
- Choreography by Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, Mats Ek, Carlota Ikeda & Ko Murobushi, Raimund Hoghe and Xavier Leroy, among othersCycle coordinated by: Miquel Cuenca, music critic, and Roberto Fratini Serafide, dramatist and Lecturer in Dance Theory at the Institute of Theatre, Barcelona.