Vaslav Nijinsky

1890 (Kiev, now Kyiv, Ukraine) – 1950 (London)

In a public career of only 12 years, Nijinsky revolutionised ballet-dancing and choreography. Always a controversial figure, he was Diaghilev’s star and lover. They visited Debussy in Paris, who hated Nijinsky’s subsequent choreographing of his music (Diaghilev used their exchange of telegrams to publicise the performances). Stravinsky was also unimpressed by Nijinsky’s response to his music. Nijinsky had shared a studio with Chagall in Russia, went to the Louvre with Bakst, sat at the piano with Ravel, modelled for Rodin (who had supported him), danced with Duncan, and was treated by Adler in his decline into mental illness.

Vaslav Nijinsky knew…