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Diaghilev: A Life
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Diaghilev: A Life

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Featuring an eight-page gallery of full-color illustrations, here is a major new biography of Serge Diaghilev, founder and impresario of the Ballets Russes, who revolutionized ballet by bringing together composers such as Stravinsky and Prokofiev, dancers and choreographers such as Nijinsky and Karsavina, Fokine and Balanchine, and artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Bakst, ...more
Hardcover, 552 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 1st 2009)
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An interview with a London writer recently ignited my interest in evolutionary leaps of mankind. The writer proposed that we are living in a time which supports Darwin's theory as evidenced by the computer revolution. Dividing eras into past and future became a personal quest, as I looked to the arts for evidence. Was there a documented time when dance, coupled with music and art, revolutionized our cultural experience?

DIAGHILEV, A Life by Sjeng Scheijen became a source, along with Alex Ross' T
I first came across the Ballet Russes when reading Bloomsbury Ballerina by Judith Mackrell, a biography of the dancer Lydia Lopkova. I know nothing about ballet, but was captivated by the world described in the book. So when I saw this biography of the founder of the Ballet Russes I jumped at the chance to extend my knowledge.

Sergei Diaghilev was a man of immense talent and vision and energy. He lived life at breakneck speed, he lived for art and music and beauty. He loved and feuded with equal
Julia Astakhova
Эта книга - огромный труд по выискиванию деталей жизни автора “русских сезонов”, постановки балетов и опер, переписки и сопоставлению фактов из разных источников. Очень любопытно, что этим занялся голландский искусствовед, я ему чрезвычайно благодарна, так как книга вышла изумительная, не только по содержанию, но и по оформлению. Еще только получив ее, я с благоговением листала красивейшие иллюстрации. Это и фотографии Дягилева и приближенных к нему людей, актеров, декораций, эскизов, примеры тв ...more
I was bothered by the fact that the writing in this book was stilted and stuffy, until I realized that it was in translation. And, in actuality, the kind of circles that Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev ran in were, in many respects, nineteenth century creations. I was expecting bold splashes of modernism from a story of the man who brought the world Le Sacre du Printemps, but really, Diaghilev was an artistic gambler who tried to cause sensations and make money, not a committed modernist. Tol ...more
Siobhan Burns
Really more a three and a half rating -- I love the radical artists and artistes of the early 20th century, somehow tossing aside the fussiness of the 19th century and creating an international Modernism through sheer will and vision. I wanted this book to be more dynamic and exciting, and to do a better job showing Diaghilev's extraordinary interest. On a more minor note, I do think any account of Diaghilev that doesn't even mention The Red Shoes (inspired by Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes) i ...more
Tedious but informative. This was my complaint with the Colette biography - poor editing. Some details are simply not worth telling. Exhaustiveness is not the main criterion of a good bio. And my other complaint - where is the history in this? War, revolution, social unrest, all are so dimly in the background it's hard to know if this is representative of Diaghilev's purview of the author's. In short, a disappointment, but not without its pedagogical merits.
Meesterlijke, goed gedocumenteerde biografie over de legendarische oprichter van Ballets Russes (waarin o.a. Vaslav Nijinsky danste) in 1909. Brijant geschreven; wel erg dikke pil!
I learned so much! Diaghilev led a fascinating life, and this biography captures the emotional highs and lows very well.
Vond het niet zo interessant boek. Ik had het wellicht leuker gevonden als het wat boeiender was geschreven.
A fascinating man. Book is well researched and flows well for. Translation.
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