V&A did it again, another spectacular, meticulously researched and curated exhibition.
Today I was taken into the magic world of Diaghilev’s ballet.
The exhibition starts with the end of imperial Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution, the times when everything that was rich, grand and full of grandeur was considered bad. The pre-Bolshevik times inspired Diaghilev which shows in his set designs and costumes however he also embraced modernity creating something new and shocking.
The main themes were the Russian steppes and Middle East. Intricate work on the costumes was done by the most amazing collective one could imagine including Picasso, de Chirico, Chanel, Matisse, Braque, Cocteau, Goncharova and Bakst.
The Rite of Spring, 1913, designed by Nikolai Roerich
Zéphyre et Flore, 1925, designed by Georges Braque
Le Train Bleu, 1924, designed by Coco Chanel
The Good-Humoured Ladies, 1920s, designed by Léon Bakst
From fairy-tale pretty to traditional folk to modernist the costumes were something else, I was walking from one exhibit to another and admired the craftsmanship and sheer beauty of those creations.
The exhibition shows a lot of pictures, paintings, sketches, clips, notes and music sheets creating a complete picture of this unusual troupe.
Ballets Russes on tour
Nijinski, the biggest star of Ballets Russes
Diaghilev was a truly inspirational and vibrant figure who just spread creative energy around and was capable of infecting the biggest names of art world to collaborate on his innovative vision.