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Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes 1909 - 1929 - V&A

Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Serge Diaghilev and Ballets Russes 1909 – 1929 is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum from September 25, 2010 to January 9, 2011.

Exploring the magic and the art behind the world class Russian ballet company, the exhibition looks into the world of the theatrical performers and the artists they rubbed shoulders with. With photographs and costumes appearing alongside other ballet themed memorabilia, this is an exhibition certain to revitalise the historic Ballets Russes reputation.

Serge Diaghilev was born at the end of the 19th century into a family inspired by music and art. Having studied music and dabbled in the art world, Diaghilev was inspired by the theatre to produce ballet at the Russian Imperial Theatre. The Ballet Russes was established and went onto become the company famous for producing some of the best known Russian dancers of the 20th century, among them Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinksy.

Visitors to the exhibition can explore the full history of the company and see just how they became a dance phenomenon.

Celebrating the centenary of their first performance in 1909, the Victoria and Albert Museum is delving into the origins of this avant garde ballet company and looking at the long term influence of their performances on dance history. Certain to be a fascinating show in its own right, the Serge Diaghilev and Ballets Russes exhibition will delight anyone who loves ballet or dance.

With their unusual and cutting edge approach to putting on shows, the Ballets Russes had a varied success rate. With fantastically successful performances followed by poorly recieved ones, Serge Diaghilev and his Russian ballet dancers spent twenty years on a rollercoaster of success and failure. Despite this, their artistic collaborators included the likes of Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel, and they are credited with revolutionising the world of ballet and contemporary dance in the early 20th century.

For more information visit

Tickets: £6 – £10.

Time: 10am – 5.30pm, Fridays 10am – 9.30pm.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7