Quadruple whammy. Scored three of the 8 Creative Habits with another trip to Málaga (new southern art capital!) for the Russian Museum's first exhibition - 'Russian Art: From Icons to the 20th Century' and got Diaghilev's Ballets Russes into the bargain.
1. Entrance to Málaga's old tobacco factory 2. Start of Spring by Ivan Yendogurov, 1885
3. Traditional Russian icon 4. Entrance to the Colección del Museo Ruso
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that the early 20th century art scene is my thing. Especially the incredible collaboration and cross-fertilisation between different creative disciplines.
So I was one happy bunny when I got to Colección del Museo Ruso (housed in Málaga's beautiful old tobacco factory) and discovered that it was holding a second concurrent exhibition: The Era of Diaghilev.
Diaghilev was Mr Cross-fertilisation. His dance company, the Ballets Russes, (which he founded in Paris in 1909) epitomises the spirit of collaboration in the early 20th century art world. During its existence, Ballets Russes showcased more than 130 original costumes, set designs, paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and posters.
Diaghilev commissioned scores from composers of the ilk of Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Erik Satie.
He featured the most innovative dancers: Fokine, Nijinsky, Massine, Nijinska, and Balanchine. Dancers that dramatically expanded the vocabulary of movement.
He even got Jean Cocteau to write the scenes.
1. Supper by León Bakst, 1902 2. Ballets Russes costumes on display in the Diaghilev exhibition
3. White Frost by Natalia Goncharova, 1910-11 4.Costume design by León Bakst for the Ballets Russes
Futurism, Cubism and Surrealism on the Ballet Stage.
So what's all this got to do with art? Here's where it gets really exciting! Diaghilev enlisted the most avant-garde artists of the time to create sets and costumes for his productions.
The list of his set designers reads like a Who's Who of early 20th century art: Benois, Bakst (who took Chagall with him to Paris to work on the sets), Miró, Matisse, Picasso, Goncharova, de Chirico, Derain, Delaunay, Dalí. Artists who brought Futurism, Cubism and Surrealism to the ballet stage.
The result? Dynamic, breathtaking set designs accompanied by bold, imaginative costumes. And a public that was shocked and thrilled in equal measure.
By cross-pollinating Russian traditions with avant-garde Western art, Diaghilev fostered a musical, choreographic and visual revolution that changed ballet forever.
1. Natalia Goncharova's squid costume for production of Sadko
2. Sets and Costumes by Picasso for Jean Cocteau's The Parade
3. De Chirico's costume designs and stage sets for Diaghilev's Le Bal, 1929
4. Costume by Matisse
Brush Up On Your Creative Habits
Wondering which three of the 8 Creative Habits I put into action with this trip?
5. Observe; 6. Reflect and Evaluate; 8. Engage with the Art World.
Start engaging with yours!