Portrait of Diaghilev
by V.A. Serov, 1904
BALLETS RUSSES 2009 ANNOUNCES SYMPOSIUM
The Spirit of Diaghilev May 19-21, 2009
To Celebrate the Centenary of Diaghilev's
First Ballet Performances in Paris
"In the history of twentieth-century ballet, no company has had so profound and far-reaching an influence as the Ballets Russes."
Boston, MA - Commencing on the morning of May 19, 2009 - the 100th Anniversary of
the first performance of the Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at the Theatre du Chatelet
in Paris - Ballets Russes 2009 will be hosting a three-day symposium - The Spirit of Diaghilev
- to explore the enormous cultural impact of Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes on the world.
The symposium, organized by noted dance writer and scholar Lynn Garafola, features an
impressive roster of international speakers known for their research and writings on
20th century culture. Part of a weeklong festival in Boston celebrating the centenary of
the Ballets Russes, the BR2009 Symposium The Spirit of Diaghilev will be held at
Boston University's George Sherman Union.
The Ballets Russes (Russian Ballet) was established in 1909 by the Russian impresario
Sergei Diaghilev. It became one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th
century, and was renowned for its groundbreaking artistic collaborations among choreographers,
composers, artists, and designers.
The BR2009 Symposium will explore Diaghilev's impact on artists in the fields of
Music, Visual Arts, Dance, and Choreography; examine the process and challenges
of Restaging Ballet Russes works; and, finally, unveil new research about "Diaghilev the Man."
Diaghilev's relationships with an astounding array of 20th century artists - Igor
Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Natalia Goncharova, Giorgio de Chirico, Enrico Cecchetti,
Alexandre Benois, Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Leonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska
and George Balanchine, among others - will be explored in depth.
Presenters include an international roster of more than twenty-five
esteemed academics, critics and authors - Joan Acocella, Jack Anderson, John Bowlt, Robert
Gottlieb, Millicent Hodson, Andris Liepa, Alastair Macaulay, Nicoletta Misler, Nancy
Reynolds, Jane Sharp, Stephanie Jordan, Tim Scholl, and Marcia Siegal, among others. John Drummond's
1968 BBC documentary Diaghilev, and Tamara Geva's 1979 film Diaghilev: A Portrait will
be screened. Ballets Russes 2009 Director Peter Rand and Associate Director Anna Winestein,
will also be making presentations. Peter Rand is an author of novels as well as non-fiction
books and Boston University professor. Anna Winestein is an art historian and curator of
several international exhibitions, as well as doctoral candidate at Oxford University.
Symposium organizer and Keynote speaker Lynn Garafola is Professor of Dance at Barnard
College, Columbia University, and the author of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.
Presentations range from Sarah
Woodcock's [former curator of dance at the Victoria and Albert Theatre Collection
in London] talk on "Diaghilev's Costumes" to Dutch independent scholar Sjeng Scheijen's
groundbreaking research on "The Queer World of Sergei Diaghilev"; and from dance writer
Giannandrea Poesio on "Enrico Cecchetti and the Ballets Russes" to Harvard University
Professor John E. Malmstad's exploration of Diaghilev's "Russianness."
Ballet patrons, students, teachers,
aficionados and anyone interested in the evolution of the arts in the 20th Century
will not want to miss this fascinating Symposium, part of a week-long Boston-wide
festival running from May 16-23, 2009. The Festival will include a concert by The
Boston Pops of music composed for the Ballets Russes, exhibitions at the Wadsworth
Athenaeum and Boston University's 808 Gallery, film screenings at the Museum of
Fine Arts and Boston University, performances at New England Conservatory, and a
special Ballets Russes program by Boston Ballet (The Prodigal Son, Afternoon of a
Faun, Le Spectre de la Rose, and a new Sacre du Printemps by Jorma Elo).
"I, personally, can be of no interest to anyone: it is not my life that is interesting,
but my work."