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Prehistoric Ballets: L’Après Midi d’un Faune as precursor of The Rite of Spring

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Duration: 0:25:09 | Added: 05 Dec 2014
On the 29th of May 1912, exactly a year earlier than the premiere of The Rite of Spring, Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes had scandalized Parisian audiences with the first performance of another

famous ballet choreographed by Nijinsky – L’Après-midi d’un Faune. This ballet represents a precursor for The Rite of Spring not only for this chronological correspondence, success, notoriety, and choreography by Nijinsky: both works also drew some inspiration from a rather distant prehistoric past, as shown by the sets and costumes created by Léon Bakst and Nicholas Roerich (for Faune and Rite, respectively). This paper discusses Bakst’s use of prehistoric materials for the Faune and previous Ballets Russes productions, and how this related to his ideas about a modern art of the future.

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