Cinema at the MFA: Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes
Narrated by Tilda Swinton, this film was made in conjunction with the exhibition Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music. The impresario Serge Diaghilev was the creator and driving force of the Ballets Russes. He persuaded, cajoled, and charmed the greatest talents of the early twentieth century to join his company. Artists (Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse), composers (Igor Stravinsky and Erik Satie), choreographers (Michel Fokine and George Balanchine), and dancers (Vaslav Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova) all collaborated to realize Diaghilev’s dream of a seamless fusion of the arts. The spectacular productions of the Ballets Russes dazzled audiences and revolutionized modern dance. This documentary includes footage of revivals of Ballets Russes performances by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, and the New York City Ballet. Also featured are sets and costumes from Diaghilev’s innovative productions, as well as interviews with dancers, musicians, and scholars.
Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes (2013, 60 mins). Produced by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The film was made possible by the HRH Foundation.
Free with museum admission
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