Sergei Diaghilev

Serge Diaghilev;Sergei Pavlovich Dyagilev

1872 (Selischi, Russia) – 1929 (Venice)

Diaghilev oversaw the revolutionising of ballet theatre. Rimsky-Korsakov taught him, but told him he had no musical talent. He edited an influential art magazine with Benois, Bakst and his cousin and lover, Filosofov. Nijinsky, Fokine and Bakst formed the core of the revolutionary Ballets Russes group he took to France (Nijinsky, also his lover, was vindictively sacked when he got married). Cendrars drank champagne with him, while Marinetti got him to listen to Russolo’s noise machines. The talents Diaghilev worked with form a who’s who of his era’s avant-garde: Goncharova to Gabo, Picasso to Prokofiev, Strauss to Stravinsky.