July 01, 2013

Springtime in Paris



Springtime in Paris

Sergei Diaghilev’s fifth “Russian Season” began in Paris in May 1913 and continued throughout the summer. During this historic season, ballet lovers were captivated by Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky and designed by Nicholas Roerich; Claude Debussy’s Jeux, with sets by Léon Bakst; and Schmitt’s La tragédie de Salomé, designed by Sergei Sudeikin. The exceptional talent of dancers Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina, the stage and costume designs that lent Diaghilev’s productions stunning visual originality, and startling musical departures all combined to leave audiences breathless. Just one year later, the world of rarified decadence of which the Ballets Russes was such a key element would vanish forever with the outbreak of World War I. (See this issue’s feature story on Russian Paris, page 46, for more on Diaghilev’s and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.)

 

 


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