The Art of Costume
The Ballets Russes has engaged people for 100 years, ever since
Russian-born Sergei Diaghilev created this dynamic avant-garde company.
Diaghilev brought together some of the most important visual artists of
the 20th century – Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, André Derain,
Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, Natalia
Gonchorova, Mikhail Larionov and more – who worked as costume and
stage designers with composers such as Igor Stravinky, choreographers
such as Michel Fokine, and dancers such as Vaslav Nijinsky, infusing
new life and creative energy into the performing arts of the time.
Premiering in Paris, the Ballets Russes, for the brief period of its
existence (1909-1929), created exotic, extravagant, and charming
theatrical spectacle but also critical discussion and technical
innovation, as well as exuding glamor – often creating scandal
– wherever it appeared.
The costumes featured in this book are drawn entirely from the
National Gallery of Australia's world-renowned collection of
Ballets Russes costumes and ephemera. Through the costumes, drawings,
programs and posters, the visual spectacle of the Ballets Russes is
brought back into view for a contemporary audience to appreciate the
revolution it was and the ongoing influence it continues to have
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