The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Spirit, Colour and Vitality of the Ballets Russes Brought to Life at the National Gallery of Australia
Léon Baskt Tunic from costume for the Blue God c 1912 from Le Dieu Bleu. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1987.

CANBERRA.- The National Gallery of Australia opened its major summer exhibition Ballets Russes: the art of costume. The exhibition celebrates the centenary of the first Paris seasons of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (Russian Ballet), the dance company that revolutionised ballet with its sensational fusion of art, movement and music.

Featuring 150 costumes and accessories from the ballet as well as film, drawings, photography and original programs, the exhibition brings to life the famed ballet troupe’s stunning avant-garde performances in the largest Ballets Russes display ever held in Australia.

“In this exhibition you will see works of art by some of the greatest modern artists such as Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Natalia Goncharova, Léon Bakst, André Derain, Giorgio de Chirico and Pablo Picasso, but these works are costumes that were designed to be lived and breathed in on the stage,” said Ron Radford AM, Director of the National Gallery of Australia.

“This collection of Ballets Russes costumes which is one of the largest and finest in the world is incredibly significant for the National Gallery of Australia. One of the central aims of the National Gallery is to celebrate modernism and to show how arts across all media contribute to an understanding of its influence. Ballets Russes: the art of costume is only on show in Canberra, and we would like to thank our Presenting Partner ActewAGL for supporting this exhibition”.

A third of the costumes and accessories displayed in this exhibition have not been seen since they were last worn on stage. Ballets Russes: the art of costume is the result of a five year Gallery conservation project, painstakingly conserving fragile costumes often thread by thread.

Ballets Russes: the art of costume also features new acquisitions purchased in recent years including costumes and accessories designed by Matisse, Picasso and de Chirico.

The nature of the Ballets Russes costumes means they are some of the most fragile pieces in the national collection and therefore only rarely displayed.

“The costumes designed and made for the Ballets Russes were conceived in the context of powerful and emotional artistic collaboration and command attention as persuasive works of art in their own right, long after they ceased to be worn on stage. Their ingenious design, cut and construction, innovative colours and patterns, the use of a variety of fabrics and trim materials, come together with the purpose of being worn in complex action by athletic dancers for maximum visual impact on stage,” said Senor Curator of Decorative Arts and Design and exhibition curator Dr Robert Bell AM.

Michael Costello, CEO of ActewAGL, said “ActewAGL is thrilled to partner with the National Gallery of Australia for this major exhibition, Ballets Russes the art of costume which is sure to draw visitors to Canberra over summer and autumn. This partnership demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting Canberra tourism, business and the community”.

The National Gallery of Australia’s collection of Ballets Russes costumes began with the purchase of nearly 400 significant pieces at a Sotheby’s auction in London in the 1973, another considerable purchase was made in 1976. The Gallery has added to the collection in the decades following and this exhibition includes new acquisitions purchased in the last few years.

The exhibition showcases 34 productions from 1909 to 1940, evoking the exoticism and drama of its performances.

Serge Diaghilev was instrumental in bringing together the finest artists of the early 20th century including visual artists, composers and choreographers to create a new modern art form. The company originated in Russia under Diaghilev’s charismatic leadership – but they never performed there. They toured throughout Europe and America and brought together the talents of composers such as Igor Stravinsky (who launched his career with the Ballets Russes and was Diaghilev’s closest musical collaborator), and Claude Debussy; choreographers, Michele Fokine, Leonide Massine and George Balanchine and dancers such as Vaslav Njinksy.

After Diaghilev's untimely death in 1929, several new companies were formed to continue and develop his legacy, the most important being Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, formed in Monaco in 1932 by the Russian entrepreneur Colonel Wassily de Basil. This company toured in Australia three times during the 1930s, enthralling audiences with its productions.

This exhibition aims to celebrate the centenary of the Ballets Russes by showing how its spirit continues for our time and place.

The National Gallery of Australia | Ballets Russes | Henri Matisse | Georges Braque |

Today's News

January 3, 2011

Valencia Celebrates the 600th Anniversary of Knight Joanot Martorell with Exhibition

The Wallace Collection Announces Plans for Newly-Refurbished Dutch Galleries

Exhibition at Canadian Museum of Civilization Explores the Vibrant Culture of the Haida

Cooper-Hewitt to Present "Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay"

Stunning Images of the Ancient Temples of Angkor Reveal a Photographer's Artistic Vision

The Spirit, Colour and Vitality of the Ballets Russes Brought to Life at the National Gallery of Australia

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 33-Year-Old Car Gets $1 Million Bid

Carnegie Museum of Art Director's Choice Book Features Highlights of Entire Collection

Mattress Factory Screening David Wojnarowicz's Video "A Fire in My Belly"

Seven Recent Pieces by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Featured at Manchester Art Gallery

After Renovation, New Museum of the Mexican Revolution Inaugurated in Chihuahua

Works on Paper by the Iconic Billy Childish at L-13 Light Industrial Workshop

A Hedonist's Guide to Art Reveals the Secrets of the World of Art through a Collection of Essays

Photo Museum Antwerp Showing Exhibition by Ville Lenkkeri "The Place of No Roads"

Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection Opens at the Metropolitan

Sigalit Landau to Show Her Work at the Israeli Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

National Gallery Opens Exhibition by One of the Most Versatile Artists of the Renaissance

Views of Venice by Canaletto and His Rivals in Landmark Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Victoria Celebrates Work of 26 Contemporary New Zealand Artists

World Renowned Artist Anish Kapoor Exhibits His Works of Art in India for the First Time

Chagall Mosaic & Moran Painting Among Major Gifts & Acquisitions for National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art Announces Gauguin: Maker of Myth" in Washington, Next Year

National Gallery of Art Announces Gauguin: Maker of Myth" in Washington, Next Year

Rare Arcimboldo Painting Acquired by the National Gallery of Art

National Galleries of Scotland to Celebrate the Work of William McTaggart

The National Galleries of Scotland to Celebrate the Life and Work of William McTaggart

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful