Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev

Sergey Pavlovich Dyagilev

(1872 – 1929) – critic, theater and art activist, entrepreneur-garde, the chief editor and magazine creator of the “World of Art”, one of the founders of the “World of Art”, organizer of the “Russian Seasons” in Paris troupe “Russian ballet Diaghilev.” All his energy and talent, Diaghilev focused on promoting Russian ballet in Western Europe.

Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev

Diaghilev gave the world the art of new names of talented choreographers Fokine, Massine, Nijinsky Balanchine dancers: Nijinsky Viltzaka, Voytsihovskogo Valley, Lifar, Pavlova, Karsavina, Rubinstein, Spesivtseva, Nemchinova, Danilova.

The centenary of the “Russian Seasons” was celebrated in 2009.

Actually, everything is different. The first performance in Paris of the troupe “Russian Ballets” took place in 1909. The troupe consisted of dancers from the Mariinsky Theater. In 1906, an exhibition of Russian painting “Russian Seasons” was held in Paris. It was very fruitful in 1907 – five “Russian historical concerts” were held. 1908 was devoted to the shows of Russian operas, so according to chronology, 1909 was already the fourth season. There is one more evidence of the program of the “Russian ballets” of 1912, where it was indicated, the season number, namely: the seventh!

Sergei Diaghilev had a difficult character, because of which he constantly quarreled with people and created an atmosphere of scandals.

Indeed, Diaghilev was by nature unrestrained, rude, explosive, and it was not only he alone that suffered, but also the people around him. (remember even a noisy quarrel between Alexander Nikolaevich Benois and Lev Samoilovich Bakst because of the scenery of “Petrushka”). Diaghilev had uneasy relations with Mikhail Mikhailovich Fokin, the famous Russian choreographer. Fokine made many claims to Diaghilev, both personal and financial. So in constant quarrels and scandals it is not necessary to blame only Diaghilev.

Diaghilev was a homosexual.

Yes it is. In the 1890’s. during a trip to Italy, Diaghilev and his cousin Dmitry Filosofov became lovers. Their relationship lasted ten years. Thanks to his cousin, Diaghilev has his own artistic tastes. In 1908. Diaghilev gets acquainted with Vaslav Nijinsky. This meeting was in something fatal. She connected Diaghilev with the ballet with extremely deep feelings. After five years of their joint activity, Nijinsky becomes a world-famous dancer. The next lover of Diaghilev was Leonid Miasin. He became a lover in the name of a career. And Myasin’s hopes were justified. In the last decade of his life, Diaghilev had novels with beautiful young people, whom he helped to make a brilliant career.

Diaghilev brought Václav Fomich Nijinsky to mental illness.

The occasion for the break was the wedding of Nijinsky. It’s not true, Nijinsky fell ill long before the wedding. And his illness was irreversible and was the result of many reasons. But a quarrel with Diaghilev made a contribution. It was a very close loving and creative relationship. Sergei Pavlovich drove Nijinsky out in 1913 from the troupe, when he suddenly married Romole de Pulsky. In addition, he drove out and Leonid Fedorovich Massine after his marriage to Vera Savina in 1921. But the break with Nijinsky was temporary and Diaghilev sooner or later brought him back to the troupe.

The fate of his lovers after the break with Diaghilev was sad.

Yes it is. Zinaida Gippius, having separated Dmitry Filosofov from Diaghilev, did not receive the expected happiness. Filosofov felt like a prisoner of “fatal feelings” and could not even touch it. Romole de Pulsky had to take care of her husband Nijinsky all his life. Shortly after the wedding, her husband’s illness began to progress, he became insane and helpless, like a child. English dancer Vera Savina, who married Massine, was thrown to them and withered in obscurity.

Diaghilev was inaccurate in financial matters and preferred to pay as soon as possible rather than pay.

Diaghilev always made detailed contracts with all his employees, where all rights and obligations were clearly spelled out. And until 1913 he was considered one of the most responsible impresarios. But in 1914, due to the war, he was unable to fulfill a number of financial obligations. Deciding that everyone will understand the objectivity of the reasons, Diaghilev refused to pay on some contracts. But not everyone shared his opinion. For example, Fokine refused further cooperation with him.

After the First World War, Diaghilev was so carried away by scandalous performances, work for the public that we can talk about the decline of the “Russian Seasons”.

Indeed, in 1913 the premiere of “The Spring of the Sacred” brought Diaghilev’s scandalous glory (the audience was booed by the audience, because they did not like Stravinsky’s music, and paid no attention to the original and complex choreography of the production). The reason for the scandal in 1917 was the red flag, which appeared on the stage. This caused indignation among the audience. Although Diaghilev was not interested in politics, he tried to keep up with the times. Men-dancers began to have equal rights with women, everything began to undergo changes: music, scenery, choreography. Diaghilev has a special flair for people and the art of ballet, he invited the “progressive” people to the troupe. Diaghilev is looking for new talents.

Picasso received European fame thanks to Diaghilev’s premiere of “Triangles”.

Pablo Picasso gained fame after the scandalous premiere of the play “Parade”, which took place in 1917, and not “Triangles” (the author’s name – “Trikord”).

Diaghilev was not interested in modernity.

Prior to 1920, Diaghilev preferred folklore and fairy-tale subjects. But gradually in the libretto, the trends of the new time began to penetrate more often. In 1927, Diaghilev even planned a ballet on the theme of Soviet life. He tried many times to establish contacts with the USSR.

The speeches of the “Russian ballets” never happened in Russia, because Diaghilev with disregard for his own homeland.

This is not quite true. There was not a single Diaghilev production in Russia, but Diaghilev dreamed of performing at home. But in 1911, when the dream seemed to come true, everything collapsed. The people’s house burnt down before the tour began. And Vladimir Arkadyevich Telyakovsky, who worked in the management of the imperial theaters, refused to rent Mikhailovsky Theater. Diaghilev could not help even the famous ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya. Therefore, he discussed projects with Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold (actor, director, teacher, one of the theater’s reformers) about the joint season in Paris. He offered cooperation to Kasyan Goleizovsky (choreographer, recognized master, created masterpieces of choreography, honored artist of the BSSR (1940), Honored Artist of the Lithuanian SSR (1954)), Alexander Yakovlevich Tairov (actor, great director, People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1935)), but refused. In the Soviet era, the possibility of Diaghilev’s return to his homeland was more hypothetical, although he repeatedly tried to visit the USSR. In 1925, in the sixth issue of the journal Life of Art, even a note appeared that said that the entry to the USSR of the director of the Russian ballet, S.P. Diaghilev is undesirable. Diaghilev’s arrival was not welcomed, since he was an extraordinary person who did not fit in with the ideas of a respectable citizen accepted in Soviet society.

After Diaghilev’s death, many regretted that they had never seen his performance.

Diaghilev never appeared on stage, did not dance, he never did anything. Diaghilev was the most talented of the leaders, the organizer, the discoverer of talents.

Add a Comment