A biography on Serge Diaghilev. Goes into his life, dances, performers, and includes a bibliography.

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Serge Diaghilev

By Lindsey Cobb

Serge Diaghilev was born on March 19, 1872, in Perm, Russia. (Cochran) Diaghilev had a stepmother, but there were no professional dancers in his family. (Waters, 1) He attended St. Petersburg for law school, but soon left school because he had a love of the arts. (Mara, 44)

Diaghilev worked for Imperial theaters, and later, in 1911, formed his own company, the Ballet Russes. In 1899, He created his own magazine, Mir Isskoustva, which means The World of Art. Also in 1899, he was appointed to the staff of Imperial Theaters. (Mara, 44)

When Diaghilev worked for Imperial Ballet, Michel Fokine was a main choreographer. Some of the main dancers with the company were Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina, Vaslav Nijinsky, Adolph Bolm, and Mikhail Mordkin. (Mara, 45)

One of Diaghilev's most well known dances was The Rite of Spring, or Le Sacre du Printemps. This ballet premiered May 29, in 1913. Vaslaw Nijinsky was the choreographer, and Igor Stravinsky wrote the music. Maria Piltz was one of the main dancers. The ballet represents a girl being sacrificed, which caused an uproar at the premier in Paris; it was only shown six times afterwards. (cs.hut.fi/~pno/Music/Stravinsky/RiteOfSpring.html)

The Firebird was another ballet, in 1910. The ballet was choreographed by Fokine, and Igor Stravinsky wrote the music. This also premiered in Paris. (Anderson, 76)

In 1909 Diaghilev produced a ballet called Les Sylphides. (Woodruff, 180) Mikhail Fokine choreographed it. Fokine originally choreographed it as a short piece for Anna Pavlova. The next year he expanded it and called it "Danses sur la musique de Chopin". After another year he revised and enlarged it again calling it "Chopiniana". Three months later, with yet another title, it premiered for the Ballet Russes as Les Sylphides. (Ballet Web)

In 1910, Diaghilev...