The Revolution that Danced

Homage to Nijinsky and Diaghilev's Ballet Russes 100 anniversary. The Israeli Opera,

Tel-Aviv. Mars-April 2009

On May 18, 1909 Diaghilev's Ballet Russes appeared for the first time in Paris. The revolution that began that night in the world of dance will leave a lasting mark on the entire art world. Serge Diaghilev with his sharp senses gathered around him some of the best talents of that period. Artists like Bakst and Picasso, musicians like Stravinsky, and dancers and chirographers like Fokine and Nijinsky, created together under his support and encouragement works of art that will excite and inspire generations to come. With "The Right of Spring", "The Fire Bird," "The Afternoon of the Faun" a new language of dance and inter-media art was born.

The company's soloist dancer at it early years was Vaslav Nijinsky, who mesmerized his audience with his sensuality and virtuosity. In 1912 he created his first cerography "The Afternoon of the Faun" accompanied by Debussy's music. For weeks, all Paris talked about was the new daring avant-garde dance based on Greek motives. In 1913 he stirred up a new scandal in Paris, with "The Right of Spring." The combination of Stravinsky's revolutionary music with Nijinsky's cerography based on Slavic pagan rituals was a bit too much for the prevailing conservative taste. A few years later, after undergoing personal and professional crises and schizophrenia attacks, Nijinsky sank into the world of madness where he remained until his death in 1950. The Ballet Russe continued to perform until 1929, the year Diaghilev died. The members of the company spread all over the world and many founded new dancing companies, such as The New York City Ballet and The English Royal Ballet.

The homage presents works from two series that dealt with the image of Nijinsky: "From Reality to Myth: Nijinsky" (1995) and "Anatomy of a Myth" (1998), which have been presented in the past as well as a work from the new series, "Radu".