Diaghilev’s Theater of Marvels: The Ballets Russes and Its Aftermath, on view through September 12, 2009, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Ballets Russes and explores the company’s historical and cultural context and international influences.
Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes changed the face of modern ballet and influenced the course of the arts in the 20th century. The exhibition at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts focuses on the great impresario and the talents that emerged from his discerning eye for artistry.
These dance artists were not only Russian, but came from other countries, including many from Poland. Due to a policy during Poland’s Partition period, the powers were set to smother any signs of culture of the enslaved nation.
The names of Polish dancers did however resound throughout the world in connection with the art of foreign countries. In Russia, however, these names assumed a Russian persona.
Russian Ballet was enhanced in dance and choreography by the artistry of Feliks Krzesiński and his daughter Matylda Krzesińska (Mathilde Kshessinskaya,), the legendary Wacław Niżyński (Vaslav Nijinsky) and his sister Bronisława Niżyńska,, Leon Wójcikowski, Stanislaw Idzikowski, and many others. Most of these great artists were associated with the Ballet Russes.
The Ballets Russes is examined through visual, documentary, and recorded materials from various divisions of The New York Public Library. The films and videos in the exhibition include excerpts from documentaries about the Ballets Russes, revivals of its works by later companies, and rare footage.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Admission is free and exhibition hours are: Monday and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (The Library is closed on Sundays and holidays). For further information, telephone 212,870.1630 or visit www.nypl.org/lpa.