Over the course of the semester I am conducting research on the dispersion of Russian culture from 1909-1929 through the Ballet Russes and the immediate years following its’ dissolution and dispersion of members. Immediately following the dissolution of the Ballet Russes, the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo was formed by former members who continued on the practices in a smaller capacity. By examining the spheres of popular culture and fashion (both social and theatrical), I will determine how culture changed and evolved over time.… Read the rest here
Scene from Scheherazade.
Scene from the Firebird.
Sketch of the FIrebird costme by Bakst.
Modern womens fashions of the early 1900s inspired by Scheherazade.
Bakst’s sketch for Afternoon of a Faun costume for Nijinski.
Costume sketch for the Firebird.
Costume for the Firebird.
Pablo Picasso (wearing a beret) pictured with scene painters for Parade. Courtesy of wikicommons.
Part 1: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/quallsk/2016/05/03/ballet-russes-the-early-years-part-1-of-6/
Part 2: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/quallsk/2016/05/03/leon-bakst-and-scheherazade-part-2-of-5/
Part 3: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/quallsk/2016/05/03/the-loss-of-gesamtkunstwerk-part-3-of-5/
Part 5 (bibliography): http://blogs.dickinson.edu/quallsk/2016/05/03/original-proposal-and-bibliography-part-5-of-5/
… Read the rest here
The great impresario of the Ballet Russes, Serge Diaghilev, not only created a prominent art movement, but he also contributed to the downfall of its historic remembrance. By strictly controlling the viewing of Ballet Russes productions and prohibiting video recordings, many documents were not properly archived or were simply never recorded. This means that while the most famous performances have been continued into modern times, many popular performances of the day, which fell out of the repertoire, now exist only in fragments.… Read the rest here
The opening seasons of the Ballet Russes in Paris was a unique explosion and intermingling of culture, merging east and west into an entirely new modern style. At the head of this movement was Leon Bakst, who was the chief designer for the Ballet Russes from 1909 to 1913. Bakst became synonymous with the Ballet Russes in these opening seasons, as he introduced Europe to the mysterious Russian culture and color palette. Through Bakst’s artistic vision, the Ballet Russes ushered in a new modern era of design by infusing ‘oriental’ aspects into then drab and bland fashions of the day in Paris, which have held lasting influences permeating multiple spheres of society, chiefly every day and high fashion.… Read the rest here
Emerging from Tsarist Russia and the turbulent early years of the twentieth century, the Ballet Russes was a hugely influential and revolutionary era in the arts that altered the interactions of art, music and dance for generations to follow. The ballet troupe lasted from 1909 to 1929 when the impresario Serge Diaghilev unexpectedly died. In order to fully grasp the movement created by Diaghilev it is essential to have a clear understanding of its origins and the motivations behind what became such a diverse array of talents.… Read the rest here
Pictured: Jimmy, Marion and Martinov
The film Circus, produced by the Soviet Union in 1936, was made in order to propagate the Union’s ideals and acceptance of all nationalities. The main hero, Marion Dixon, is chased out of the United States because of racial intolerance against her black son, Jimmy. Marion stumbles across Fronk Kneishitz, a wealthy German, who offers to take her traveling around the world and conceal the identity of her son in order to avoid persecution.… Read the rest here
Magnitogorsk Steel Production Facility 1930, courtesy of wikicommons
The city of Magnitogorsk was founded as a center of industrialization, however even as it failed on many fronts it was a progressive center of industrialization. In the 1930’s the Soviet Union was in need of industry, and so the plan to create industrial cities was implemented. Detailed in the article Peopling Magnitostroi: The Politics of Demography by Stephen Kkotkin is the reasoning, creation and outcome of Magnitogorsk as both an industrial city and as a “factory for remaking people”.… Read the rest here
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin is a complex and revolutionary novel of Science fiction. D-503 is a mathematician living in the One State, journaling his daily life in order for future generations to learn about his society once the journal is put on the Integral (the spaceship D-503 is building). As a mathematician D-503 experiences the world in equations, from describing pleasing aesthetics to eventually emotions such as love with math (L=f(D): love is a function of death).… Read the rest here
Tsar Nicholas II
Tsar Nicholas II ruled during time of great conflict and upheaval, ultimately concluding not only with the end of the Romanov dynasty, but also the end of tsarist rule over Russia. During the 1917 February revolution in Petrograd, the people protested the food shortage as a result of war, directing their anger towards the tsar and his regime. After power struggles, Nicholas lost the people’s trust and patience. After the people gained the support of the royal army, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate the throne to his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail.… Read the rest here