[Ballets Russes] [Nijinsky, Waslaw. (1889-1950)] [Pavlova, Anna. (1881–1931)] [Karsavina, Tamar. (1885–1978)]
Le Theatre No. 249. Numero special. 1909.
Paris: Manzi, Joyant & Cie. 1909.
Special number of the Parisian cultural magazine, devoted to the Saison Russe of 1909. No. 249, Mai (I) 1909. The decorative cover features a color image of Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova in Le Pavillon d'Armide; featured inside are photographs of Feodor Chaliapin in Rimsky-Korsakov's Ivan the Terrible; Michel Fokine, Vera Fokina, Tamar Karsavina, Vera Karalli, Pavlova and Nijinsky, and other singers, actors, and dancers of the Russian companies; and set designs by Roerich and Golovine. 24 pp. Archival tape repairs to the spine and one corner; some light soiling and toning, with one small tear to the back wrapper; overall in fine condition. 11 x 14 inches (27.5 x 35.3 cm).
The 1909 season was, essentially, the premiere of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, although that name was not used until the following year. Most of the dancers were principals of the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg, hired by Diaghilev to perform in Paris during the Imperial Ballet's summer recess. The Saison Russe included Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Maid of Pskov, performed under the title of Ivan the Terrible and starring Chaliapin as the eponymous Tsar. Also featured were the Polovetsian Dances from Borodin's Prince Igor and Le Pavillon d'Armide, choreographed by Fokine to music by Nikolai Tcherepnin.
From the collection of the collector and art critic Viktor Kholodkov (1948-2015), who fulfilled his passion for books, avant-garde design and paper memorabilia by devoting his life to collecting and dealing of prominent works of Russian graphic art of the first half of the 20th century. His unique selection of over 2000 Russian sheet music covers was acquired by the Library of Congress.