2009 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Ballets Russes by Sergei Diaghilev. The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies will celebrate the centennial of this milestone in cultural history with a symposium of events, featuring films, talks, discussions and an exhibition of original costumes and scene designs.
The event will feature a screening of "Return of the Firebird." The film features dramatic recreations of the original Ballets Russes productions of “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “Scheherazade." (Ballet film, 2002, 120 min)
Can any culture have a better ambassador than its art? Founded in 1909 by Sergei Diaghilev in St. Petersburg, the Ballets Russes brought dance, music and art together to enchant an emerging, troubled, modern world. In the years before and after the world wars especially, this company drew upon the collaborative potential of a unique generation of artists. From Stravinsky’s and Debussy’s radical music, to Pavolova’s and Nijinsky’s unforgettable, graceful strength, the Ballets Russes combined sensuality and modernity in unforgettable visual and acoustic events. The provocation of “The Afternoon of the Faun” and of “The Rite of Spring” spread from Paris to New York and Buenos Aires and changed modern art and taste forever.