When Art Danced with Music (and What it Wore)
Sarah Kennel, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, and Jane Pritchard, curator of dance, Victoria and Albert Museum. The Ballets Russes was the most innovative dance company of the 20th century. Founded by Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev (1872–1929) in Paris in 1909, the company propelled the performing arts to new heights through groundbreaking collaborations between artists, composers, choreographers, dancers, and fashion designers. The National Gallery of Art’s exhibition, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music, on view from May 12 to September 02, 2013, showcases more than 150 original costumes, set designs, paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs, posters, and incorporates film clips in a theatrical multimedia installation. The exhibition was adapted from one conceived by and first shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in 2010. The Gallery’s Sarah Kennel provides an overview of the exhibition, followed by V&A’s Jane Pritchard, who discusses the history and artistry of the Ballets Russes costumes in a joint lecture recorded on June 2, 2013.