Topics: Sergei Diaghilev, Ballets Russes, The Rite of Spring Pages: 1 (891 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Vaslav Nijinsky the most famous dancer of the early 20th century, celebrated for his spectacular leaps and sensitive interpretations. Nijinsky was born in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 12, 1890. His parent’s were famous dancers and they had their own company. Nijinsky spent most of his childhood dancing with his parents and with his brother Stanislav and his little sister Bronisława. His father, noticing the child’s great talent for dancing, gave him his first lessons. At the age of eight, Nijinsky entered the Imperial School of Dancing in Saints Petersburg, where his teachers, the foremost of the time, soon discovered his extraordinary talent. He was coached by Enrico Cecchetti, and Nicholas Legat. When he was 16 years old, they urged him to graduate and enter the Mariinsky Theatre. Nijinsky declined, preferring to fulfill the customary period of study. At the time he already had been called the Eighth Wonder of the World” and the “Vestris of the North”. After graduating he joined the Mariinsky Theatre as a soloist. As danseur noble, he danced the leading parts in many ballets, including Ivanotschka, Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Chopiniana. From 1907 to 1911 Nijinsky danced all of the leading parts at the Mariinsky Theatre and at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, where he was a guest performer. His success was phenomenal. In the early 20th century in Russia there was a heavy sexual trade in ballet dancers. Some dancers actually accepted fees from interested ballet patrons for making introductions. In 1907 one such dancer introduced Nijinsky to the thirty year old Prince Pavel Lvov who was a well known homosexual and a wealthy sports enthusiast. Nijinsky entered upon what was probably his first sexual relationship, with the blessing of his mother, even though she discouraged his heterosexual interests. She felt that marriage would get in his way and was proud to see her son with so fine a figure as Prince Lvov and was also grateful for Lvov’s financial...
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