The Ballets Russes created dances that reflected the 20th century. Its history was of an exceptional company, renown for its productions, which with a large number of innovating shows gave modernity its colour. After one hundred years, the fascination created by this unique company remains very much alive today in theatres around the world.
The exhibition of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, 1909-1929. When Art dances with Music ? organised by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and produced by "la Caixa" Welfare Projects ? takes a look through the company’s twenty-years history and its promoter, the impresario Serge Diaghilev, a key figure to understand the impact of dance, art and music from the 20th century. A display of more than two hundred objects that include the costumes, elements from choreographies, designs, posters, programmes, photographs, theatre backdrops and documentary films, this exhibition relives the renovating ambition of Diaghilev and the large number of collaborators who worked with him: visual avant-garde artists of the stature of Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Derain, Goncharova or Chanel; musicians, such as Ravel, Satie, Falla, Stravinsky, Prokofiev or Rimski-Korsakov; dancers, such as Fokine, Nijinsky, Pavlova, Karsavina or Massine, and writers, such as Jean Cocteau.
For its exhibition in Barcelona and Madrid, "la Caixa" Welfare Projects has prepared a new section in which the intense relationship between Ballets Russes and Spain is explained. A remarkable programme of activities (concerts, filmed dance, conferences) is offered to accompany this exhibition.
The exhibition has been organised by Geoffrey Marsh and Jane Pritchard, museum director and curator of the Theatre and Dance Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) respectively and can be viewed at CaixaForum Barcelona (Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8) from 5 October 2011 to 15 January 2012.
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