show at the Folies to announce the arrival of her fellow American a it

Show at the folies to announce the arrival of her

This preview shows page 155 - 156 out of 184 pages.

demoiselle Ba-kair, stil the darling of Parisian night life, stopped her ,'0. show at the Folies to announce the arrival of her fellow American.) a\ it Nevertheless, Le Figaro, which had been so vitriolic in its denuncia- tion of Le Sacre in 1913, did, appropriately~. carry an assessment of the opening night in 1927. Of Diaghilev, P. B. Ghéusi wrote: This Russian animator has been the Antoine of modern choreo- graphic art. His quiet tenacity, his mystical faith in his own success, \~ :n ~ ~,'- t.'~ m :.t~ l;:~,~~ ,,-' '.. ;,:i \.''' !t "'~ N I G H T 0 A NeE R . 273 which the perverse demon of theater did not sell him cheaply, t~e . smiling fanaticism of his art, much more personal than Slav - all this has brought about a whole new school of thought, which has now been accepted by both.the public and professional world. . ~; Stravinsky, too, was flattered by Ghéusi.1 How Paris and the western world had changed since i 9 i 3 ! , , , Pavlov a was on tour in Stockholm at the end of May. ChaliapIn f/ was in Vienna. The critics hardly noticed them. Those that did we~e , . kind. Chaliapin's voice had become smaller since the early days, said one, but the artist in him had grown.2 " , , . Arid Nijinsky? What had happened to him? At h~s last recital, In early 1919, before he was committed to a ,sanatoriu~, he had at- tempted, in front of a small'private audience In St. ~~ritz, to capture the war in dance. "Now I wil dance you the war, he ann~un~ed, "with its suffering, with its destruction, with its death." 3 In, his, diary of those days he identified himself, as Nietzsche had done In his last utterances before the complete darkness of his madness enveloped "\ him; with God. In December 1928, a few days after Christmas, Harry Ke~sler ~t- . tended a perfòrmance of the Diaghilev company at the Opéra In Paris. Afterward, as I was waiting for Diaghilev in the corridor behind, the stage he approached together with a short haggard youngster i~ a tatte:ed coat. "Don't you know who he is?" he asked. "No," I said, "I really can't think." "But it's Nijinsky!" Nijinsky! I was thunder- struck. His face, so often radíant as a god's, for thousands a~ unfo~- gettable experience,' was now gray, flabb!, e~pty, only fleetingly lit by a blank smile, a brief gleam as of a flickering flame. Not a word crossed his lips. Diaghilev had hold of him under one ar,m and, to go down the three flights of stairs, asked me to support him under the other, because he who formerly seemed able to leap over rooftops now feels his way uncertainly, anxiously, from step to step: I to?k hold of him, squeezed his thin fingers; and tried to ~hee~ hi~ with friendly words. Uncomprehending, he looked at ,me wi~h bi~ eyes that were infinitely touching and reminded me of a sick animal. ?~ . i: ".b . And what had happened to spring? In 1913, just befo,re the first performance of Le Sacre, Isadora Duncan's children had died; the c~r in which they were left unattended had rolled into the Sei,ne. Now, In 1927, in Nice, the "divine Isadora" stepped into a Bugattl for a drive i; ,!!
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