Wild Dream: Re-imagining the Ballet Russes
Renovar Spring 2014
"We are witnesses of the greatest moment of summing up in history, in the name of a new and unknown culture, which will be created by us, and which will also sweep us away"
The Ballet Russes was the impresario Serge Diaghilev's wildest dream. He created an art enterprise that manufactured excitement and celebrated modernism. His theatrical spectacles combined traditional narrative with emerging art, enabling him to promote his taste and making him reputable to his collaborators. He was neither a composer or artist, yet he managed to assert an unprecedented influence on art in the early 20th century.
Serge Diaghilev started his career as an art exhibitor, curating a show of 4000 works in St. Petersburg. He later was part of a collective that created the art journal Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) and held art lectures and discussions. Later he applied his curatorial eye to the ballet, in association with the migration of artists and nobility that fled Russia from the Bolshevik revolution, Diaghilev exported Russian culture and artists to Paris. In 1909 his Ballet Russes was a instant sensation, beginning his legendary collaborations with artists, composers, choreographers and fashion designers. Among his collaborators were Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Leon Bakst, Sonia Delaunay, Jean Cocteau, Coco Chanel, Vaslav Nijinsky and Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. The Ballet Russes unification of all mediums made it much more than the ballet, with Picasso's cubism applied to set design and Chanel's simplicity to costume, it gained international fame. With glory also came controversy. Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring", inspired by Pagan rituals to spring, met with outrage for it's primitive dance and jolting score that ignited the infamous riot in 1912.
Over a hundred years later the cultural phenomenon of the Ballet Russes continues to intrigue with exhibitions popping up all over the world. Recent exhibitions included, When Art danced with Music at the National Museum in Washington D.C 2013, Elegance in Exile:Between Fashion and Costume, the Diaghilev Era at the Palazzo Moceniza Museum in Venice 2011, Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballet Russes 1909-1929 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London 2010, and Ballet Russes Art of Costume at The National Gallery in Australia 2010, all showcasing the elaborate costumes and visuals from the rich history of The Ballet Russes.
Wild Dream, Renovar's Spring 2014 collection gives in to the daydream of becoming a modern ballerina, inspired by the explosive and kinetic costumes of The Ballet Russes. While maintaining a contemporary context, Renovar pairs sumptuous blasts of color with whimsical styles to recreate spectacle. The costumes are both thrilling and shocking with bold geometry and dripping pearl
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