OCR Interpretation

Evening public ledger. [volume] (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, March 25, 1916, Night Extra, Amusement Section, Image 9

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Ke Magnificent Ballet Russe, Its Splendors and Surprises, the Creator and the Interpreters of a 'New Art
Wxe Bird of a New Sort
fif Ballet rrom Revolu
tionary Principles
1 ...iu ai.. haIIh1 ttt Anstt A tall ah
Wtht differentiate Mr. Dlnghllcff'B
(Sutfonalballet as It has hitherto been
Erf both In Russia and elsewhere-7 Tho
Snl difference Is to bo found, not In
wtnlaut. tut In Wett-. .
5fl5 work of tho revolutionaries was to
Sf the elulcfl-galcs and lot In the fcr-
E. neod of vltnl emotion. The Inef-
tatuil rhythms of tho dance were sud-
Xr taught up Into tho masterful
rtrthiw i of life Itself. What Is "revolu-
Biiry" In tho new ballet Is the power to
fzUt and trouble tho Imagination. The,
ItoMtors linvo extended tho rnngo of
Ithi tallet, a rnnso ns wide as that of
lilj drama, and made It express a high
"wional Impulse. In their vlow tho bal-
ijj y n composite form of art, nt oneo
Sillc decorattvo anil musical. Tho lllu-
lm therefore depends upon nn Intlmato
fcllaboratlon between tho composor, tho
thoreopraphlc designer, tho painter and
(k musician.
i The new ballet works on tho prlnclplo that
tiers l not ono uesigner lor mo uance,
nnther for tho music nnd n third for tho
Jsttlngs, but ono design, ono rhythm, ono
iomlnating impuiso lor me wnoio. n
Ij-ould have tho lines, tho colors and the
porements together Interpret tho spirit
irut the action mutually reinforcing ono
Inother and producing a cumulative effect
If strength and beauty that at onco seizes
lid delights.
I'The older ballet developed tho form of
jo-called "classical dancing," consciously
preferring to overy other form tho iirtlfl
fiil form of dancing on the point of tho
tine j. with the feet turned out. In short
ilmlices, with tho figure tightly laced In
itirt, and with a strictly established sys
tem of Bteps, gestures nnd attitudes. Miss
Diincan rejected tho ballot and'cstablishcd
la entirely opposlto form of her own. Slio
introduced natural dancing. In which tho
tody of tho dancer was liberated not only
irom Biays ana sawn snpperH, out also
from the dance-steps of tho ballet. Sho
founded her dancing on natural movements
ttd on the most natural of all dance
forms namely, the dancing of tho an
cient Greeks.
FThe art of tho older b.illcf tnrnmi it
feck on life nnd on all the other arts
tod shut Itself up In a narrow clrelo of
traditions. According to the old method
of producing a ballet, tho ballet master
composed his dances by combining cer
Uln well-established movements nnd
poses. For his mimetic scenes ho used
1 conventional svntem nf r-nnHr-nlntlnn
Bind endeavored by gestures of tho danc
ers nanus, according 10 established rules,
to convey tho Dlot of the bnit tn h
j In the new ballet, on tho other hand, tho
Jramatlo action is expressed by dances
ina raunique in wmen tne whole body
plays a part In order to crcato a stylis
tic picture tho ballet master of the new
school has to study. In the first nlar. tha
f Rational dances of the nation represented
-..w ui.ui,ut iMiuioiiaeiy irurri ns
Hon to nation, mil often cxnresHlni? tho
spirit of a whole raco J and, In tho second,
the art and literature of the period In
wnicn me sceno is lam. Tno new ballet,
while recognizing the excellence both of
the older ballet and of the danclnir of
Isadora Dunoan In every caso where they
are suitable to the subject to be treated,
refuses to accept nny ono form as final'
sad exclusive.
As there were "five nosltloha" at the
tasls of tho old "classical danclnir" so
there are five rules of faith nnd practice
for tha new dancing of the Russian ballet
Kot to form combinations of ready-made
fad established dance steps, but to create
Dl ftAPfl O.lflA n nmv nin itnyraannnrllnip in
the subject, the most expressive form pos-
juuu tor tne representation of tho period
jwd the character of the nation repre
sentedthat Is the first rule of tho new
p"Tho second rule Is that dancing and
gteimetlo gesture have no meaning In a
MDet unless they servo as an expression
ef the dramatic action, and they must
lot be used as -a mere divertissement or
JJtertalnment having no connection with
scheme of the whole ballet
iTho third rulo Is that the new ballet
Admits the use of conventional gesture
Muy where It Is required by the style of
us piece, and In all other cases endeav-
OK tn ranlm.. ..... m i i i t...
Utalque of the whole body. Man can be
M should be expressive from head to
The fourth rule is tho exnresstveness of
fTOUDS Ami nf anumhla nnnln Tn a
HI,. --.- w i..uniimiiu Mutt4&. Aft 1IB
MOijer ballet the dancers were ranged In
$ .2 " y t0T tne Punose of ornament,
d the ballet master was not concerned
,'SiKMlmSfanimmKKKiSlw! twK CisMssSMlsF ?MniiLMtf&!X ..x. aSsWsWiwiSlms. , ijMBiimnMBUBBBSB&9SUK&ii$MIBSBER
sBswHslssBM?' -IBnSiffiiiHiSi' llSSS jflHRis
II MEsMBsMllllil 3Hs I
A bit of bizarrerie from
m "Le
with tho expression of any sonttment In
groups of characters or In ensemble
dances. Tho new ballet, on tho other
hand, In developing the prlnclplo of ex
pressiveness, advances from the express
iveness of tho face to tho expressiveness
of tho whole body, andVrom the express
iveness of a group of the Individual body
to the expressiveness of a group of bodies
und tho expressiveness of tho combined
dancing of a crowd.
Tho fifth rule Is tiv .lliance of dancing
with other arts. Th new ballet, refusing
to be the slave either of music or of scenic
decoration, nnd recognizing the alliance
of thi arts only on the condition of com
plete equality, allows perfect freedom both
to the scenic artist and to the musician.
In contradistinction to the older ballet It
does not demand "ballet muslo" of the
composer as nn accompaniment to danc
ing; It accepts music of every kind, pro
vided only tnat it is goou nnu expressive
It does not demand of the scenic artist
that he should array tho ballerinas In
short skirts and pink slippers. It does not
Impose nny specific "ballet" conditions on
the composer or tho decorative artists, but
gives completo liberty to their creative
powers. imo
artist can tell to
what e x t o n t his
work is the result of
tho Influence of
others and to what
extent It Is his own.
I cannot, therefore,
as a co-worker with
Mr. Dlaghlleff, judge
to what extent the
Influence of the old
traditions is preserved In the new ballet
and how much the new ideals of Miss
Duncan are reflected in It
.EdK9i sTh
rom tho Ballet Russe. A characteristic glimpse of tho fantastic scenery, costumes and dancinjj which DiapfhiletT has welded into a
Soleil do Nuit," an arrangement of Russian folk dances. A similar artistic spirit pervades tho dozen ballets which ho will show
Monday, March 27
"IVOISEAU DU FKU" Fairy dance in
ono act; music by Igor Stravinsky; book
and choreography by Fokino; decorations
b y Golovine. I'rln
cIpa dancers: MM.
Massln and Cechcttl,
Mllo. Tchernlchova.
Tho story Is the
simple tale of n wan
dering prince, who Is
kind to a beautiful
bird. Tho bird Is a
fairy who later
saves the prince from
death at tho hands of
a wicked king and
his elvos, and re
stores him to the ladv of his love. Tho
' decorations are soft, like tapestry with
Infinite detail worked In and wonderful
high lights. Tho music Is perhaps tho
most unusual and most Interesting In tho
whole series of ballets.
"CAUNAVAL" Romantic scenes In ono
net; music by Robert Schumann; book
and choreography by Michel Foklne;
scenery and costumes by Leon Bakst ;
orchestration by Rlmsky-Korsnkoff, Lla
doff, Glazounoff and Tcherepnine. Prin
cipal dancers: Lydla Lopokova, Adolph
Bolm, Luboy Tchernlkova, Alexandra
Wassllevska, Lydla Sokolova, Stanislas
IdlkowskI, Enrico Cecchottl and Lconlde
To the well-known music of "Lo Carna
val," of Schumann, the various char
acters of the Italian puppet plays disport
themselves In romantic fashion and In
crinoline costume against conventionalized
blue hangings by llakst. All the figures
of tho commedla
doll'art are there '
Colomblne, Harle
quin, Pantaloon,
Pierrot and many
ZADK" Choreo
graphic drama In one
act; music by Rlm-sky-Korsakoff
; book
by Leon Bakst and
Michel Foklne ;
choreography by Mi
chel Foklne ; scenery and costumes by
Leon Bakst Principal dancers: Flore
Revalles, Adolf Bolm, Enrlso Cecchettl,
M. Oregorleff and others.
"Scheherazade," probably the master
piece of Bakst, has been diverted by Its
author from the program provided for the
muslo by the composer and now tells
the story of tha famous prelude to the
Arabian Nights. The Shah Zeman Is In
credulous when his brother, the Sultan
Schlarlar. sings the praises of his fa
vorite Zobelde, and persuades the Sultan
to test her fidelity by pretending to go
on a hunting expedition of several days'
duration. Hardly have the lords de
parted when the harem la In an uproar.
The fat eunuch Is soon wheedled into
opening the bronze and silver doors which
lead to the apartment of the stalwart
negro slaves, finally pe opens me
golden door behind which Zobelde's lover,
sleek as polished ebony, Is waiting to
bound Into the room.
The two start a
voluptuous orgy
which reaches Its
maddest height, when
the sultan, In sinister
silence, returns un
expectedly. Venge
ance Is swift and
everything runs
blood, as all are mas
sacred. Zobelde, after
vainly Imploring par
don, stabs herself at
the Sultan's feet to avoid the fire of the
other Inmates of the harem.
Wednesday, March 29
CLEOPATRE" Choreographic drama,
la one act by Leon Bakst; dances by
Michel Foklne; muslo by B. Tajeneff,
KUnsky-Korsakoff,, Glinka and Glazounoff.
Principal dancers: Flora Revales, Adolf
Bolin, Lydla Sokolova and Alexander
This ballot la based en nn exotic, tale
by TheophUe fiautier. An aijwftBa Eyp
ttka youth, has geea the queen of tho
The exceptional naluro of the event which
Kill take place nt the Metropolitan Opera
House next week is ttoc the only reason
tchjj much apace must be olven to it. Only
tico o the ballets to be presented bu Scrao
ele DtaghllcB's companv are at all famil
iar to Philadelphia. The others, without
at least a little preparatory survey, mlaht
be confusing in the very richness of their
appeal. To assist those who are In doubt
concerning the ntyhts on which they wish
to go and to give them some advance in
dtcatlon of what they may expect when
they arrive, a detailed schedule of the
ballets is presented herewith. There are
It different ballrM nnd B rrpjtltloiu. It
should be notrd that the list of principal
dancers is incomplete in certain cases and
cannot be understood as final, for M. tie
Dlaghlleff has been Known to change tho
personnel in any piece at short notice.
The cuts accompanjii7 this analysis of
the ballets are line reproductions of
sketches by Leon Bakst, the genius in
costume and decoration of the Hussion
sapphire Nile and hns defied her cour
tiers, renounced his humble mistress
Ta-or, and has offered his life for a
sign of Cleopatra's favor. The queen 13
amazed by his devotion, and while her
slave girls dance bacchanales with black
servitors and strew sweet-scented rose
leaves, she listens to his suit. But his
triumph is short Swift death by some
rare poison follows It The vast hall,
supported by massive columns, Is deserted,
and as the royal galley carries Its
precious burden down the sacred stream,
the faithful Ta-or falls lifeless on tho
body of her faithless lover.
Choreographic- tableau from a poem by
Theophlle Gautler; muslo by Carl Maria
von "Weber, adapted by L. Vaudoyer;
scenery and costumes by Leon Bakst;
dances by Michel Foklne. Principal
dancers: Lydla Lopokova and Alexander
A pas de deux, danced to the familiar
muslo of Weber's "Invitation to the
Waltz," orchestrated by Berlioz. It tells
of the dream of a beautiful girl who,
upon her return from the ball, falls asleep
with a full-blown rose In her hand.
The delicate flower Is the symbol of her
romance, and as she dreams, clasping It
to her breast, it comes to life In the shape
of a wondrous phantom with whom she
dances. But her happiness Is too great;
she awakens to find only a few fragrant
petals scattered about her d-Inty feet,
where an Instant before her dream lover
had been kneeling. ' '
"SOLEIL DE NUIT" Ballet of Rus
sian games, arranged by Leonlde Mas-
Russian Magic
By H, T. Parker
THE magic of the Russian Bal
let the magic that will make it
something new, strange and won
derful to the American stage is a
magic of ensemble. When it de
ploys its full forces in the lan
guorous and misty beauty of "Les
Sylphides" it summons a flawless
and poetized vision. It dances
through "Carnayal" and "Papil
lons" and fills the theatre with the
atmosphere of romantic fantasy.
In tha scenes from "Prince Igor"
it leap3 and whirls as in primeval
strength and barbaric prowess. An
hour later the stage glows with
the exotic illusion of the Indian
legend of "Le Dieu Bleu" or
quivers with the sensuous excite
ments of "Thamar." To them may
succeed the racy folk-life and the
gay whimsies pf "Petrouchka" or
the Oriental savagery of "Sche
herazade." In all these ballets
each dancer has a clear individu
ality, yet each is a plastic and al
most molten part of the whole.
The vitality, tha variety, the
wealth of illusion are superb. The
spectators are transported out of
themselves Beaton Trun9eriph
sin, from tho opera "Snegourotchka," by
Rlmsky-Korsakoff ; scenery nnd costumes
by M. Larlonof. Principal dancers:
Leonlde Massln and Nicolas Zwercff.
A kind of Idealized Russian Halloween
celebration. G r o
tesquely formed nnd
dressed figures ca
vort about tho stage
In Jolly merrymak
ing, with tho clown
ish Bobyl and tho
Midnight Sun himself
ns the central fig
ures. Tho romp con
tinues until all aro
worn out with their
dancing and tum
bling. "CARNAVAL" repeated In Monday'B
Thursday, March 30
"LES SYLPHIDES" Romantic revery ;
muslo by Chopin; choreography by Mi
chel Foklne: scenery and costumes by
Alexandre Benols. Principal dancers:
Lydla Lopokova, Lubov Tchernlkova and
Adolf Bolm.
A series of divertissements In the
strict classics ballet style arranged to noc
turnes, waltzes, preludes and mazurkas of
Chopin In orchestra versions. The stngo
setting Is a parklike landscape, with a
pavilion at tho rear, against which the
pure white ballet costumes are thrown In
"PETROUCHKA" Choreographic
drama In four burlesque tableaux; music
by Igor Stravinsky; book, scenery nnd
costumes uy Alexan
dre Benols; choreog
raphy by Foklne.
A Russian 'Ta
gil a c o I," which
opens with a street
fair, with crowds and
strange characters
and a puppet master
and his players. The
succeeding scenes
develop the distorted
love affair of the
Columbine. The
whole Is done In a
vein of burlesque, which makes the pathos
the mora affecting. Lydla Lopokova la
the bright star of the piece.
"SCHEHERAZADE" repeated In Mon
day's program.
Friday, March 31
"L'OISEAU DU FEU" repeated; see
Monday's program.
THAMAR" Choreographic drama In
one scene after a poem by Lermentoff,
the poet of the Caucasus ; musla by Mtly
Alexelyich Balaklreff; choreography by
Michel Foklne; scenery and costumes by
Leon Bakst. Principal dancers: Flore
Revalles, Adolf Bolm and many others.
The rise of the curtain discloses tho
fantastio court of the seductive Cau
casian queen, Thamar. Her castle Is
surrounded by the turbulent waters of
the River Terek, where bo many of her
unfortunte lovers
have met their fate
at the hands of her
strange companions,
discovered dancing
grotesques and try
ing In vain to free
her of ennui. She
ignores them, and her
terrible eyes survey
the wild Darlol moun
tain pass, which can
be seen through the
great window. A
stranger la approaching the castle, and
at her command he Is brought Into her
baleful presence. When tho scarves
which conceal the face of the youth are
removed; he proves to be very handsome,
and for a, tune he enjoys Thamar's favor
and the strange eecreta of her barbaric
entourage. But even his beauty palls on
the listless queen, and he Is thrust to his
doom even while her hungry eyes seek
their next victim among the pilgrims lost
In her mountain fastnesses.
Cfcpreographlet episode by Warslav NIJlu-
new, startling and vigorous beauty
Philadelphia next week.
sky; muslo by Claude Dobussy; scenery
and costumes by Leon Bakst. Principal
dancers: Leonlde Massln and others.
Thoro Is virtually no story to "The Aft
ernoon of a Fnun." It Is an animated
decoration, concolved within tho rigid
limits of nn antique bas-relief. The prin
cipal figure Is the fnun. The sceno at
tho back 13 merely decoration without an
attempt at natural representation. The
unearthly, haunting strains of Debussy's
music guldo tho action of the faun, who
Is lifted for a brief spaco out of the
nebulous somnolence of brutish existence
by the bright apparition of a company
of nymphs. They appear from the left,
moving in tho conventional attitudes of
painted figures, arms and legs in angu
lar disposal. They stand rigidly posed
below the faun's retreat. Startled from
his revery and scenting the presence
of beings that stir his sensual yearn
ings, tho faun leaves his perch and
descends to their level. Surprise, fear,
curiosity and such swift emotions are
interpreted by strange, elemental move
ments of tho hands and arms. Startled,
the nymphs flee, but Immediately return.
while the faun, grow
ing bolder, seeks
to woo them. Again
they disappear and
ono returns for a
final view of the
woodland male. They
lock arms, but a
sudden panlo sends
her gliding away,
leaving behind a
filmy scarf that the
faun picks up and
carries to his rock perch. Some subtle
odor- prolongs the stimulus to his
Continued on Tate Two,
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Out of WhoBc Gcniui
tlic Ballet Sprang
FOR six years America has been hearlnt
about tho Ballet Russo. Of courts there
aro Russian ballets and Russian ballets.
But there is only one Diaghileff Rug.
slan ballet and that Is The RusslAh bal
let, which, when It Invaded Paris In the
sprin? of 1909, created a sensation In the
French capital tho memory of which ev
tho war has not obliterated that sensa
tion which New York and other large
cities In America have been longing to ex
perience, but which so far has, been denied
to them owing to tho multitudinous diffi
culties involved In bringing this wonderful
nnd really unique organization across the
AttomptB have been made from time t6
time to present Imitation Russian ballet
or fragments of Russian ballets In Amer
ica of late years with more or less suc
cess, considering the material obtainable,
Tho ronl Russian ballet however, the
Ballet Russe, whloh Paris and London lost
their heads over, Is possible only when It
has at Its head Serge Dlaghlleff. That it
why It Is equally well known as the
Dlaghlleff Ballet throughout Europe,
And then who Is this mnn Dlaghlleff?
In n word, ho Is tho organizing, vitalizing
spirit of this extraordinary combination of
nrtlsts the co-ordinating brain of this
body of dancers, composers, painters and
poets, all of whoso services ho has Com
blned to produce the astorflshtng and fas
cinating stage pictures which, with their
riot of color, movement and muslo, hare
furnished a new form of entertainment to
the seekers after novelty in sensation.
Though Just rounding 40, Dlaghlteffa
has been a life full of activity, an nc-
tlvtty devoted chiefly to artistlo pursuits.
An attache of tho Russian court soma
years ngo as a rich nmateur It was his
habit to surround himself with and en'
courage the efforts of yonnger and less
fortunate men of talent In music, painting;
and literature. Ho showed a fine appre
ciation of real worth In the matter of
art His generosity was unstinted. If he
saw a young man that he thought had
something In him, Dlaghlloffs purse was
at his disposal.
It was away back In 190G that Dlftghl
leff conceived tho Idea of openltux the
eyes of the skeptical Occident to what
might be called the Renaissance of ar
tistic Russia, somothlng up to then
almost totally unknown beyond the
frontiers of the Czar's domain. With
out any flourishing of trumpets Dlaghl
leff appeared In that year In Paris with
several dozen cases full of pictures by
his young friends of tho modern school
of Russian painting. He secured a
modest salon without any fuss or feathers
and personally superintended the hanging
of these canvases. When he had every
thing to his liking ho Invited artistic Paris
to como and see the exposition. The next
day tho Russian pictures were the talk of
the town. Tho Jaded palate of Paris ex
perienced a new thrill, "Les Russes'' at
once became the vogue and that picture
show was tho advance guard of the fa
mous Russian ballot Invasion.
Dlaghlleff, to whom his grateful artis
tic associates were only too glad to-ascrlb
the credit of tho exposition's success, be
came a sort of hero of the hour. It did
not spoil him, however. In fact. It was
the limelight that sought him, not he the
limelight. His enthusiasm was further
stimulated by what he had accomplished
on behalf of the art life of his country,
and ho at once saw the possibility of even
more effectively making known to the
Western world tho artistic soul of Rus
Bla. The next year ho organized a great
series of Russian historical musical con
certs at the Paris Grand Opera and pre
sented for the first time with a company
of Russian lyric artists Moussorgsky's
opera. "Boris Godunof."
The success of the concerts and of
"Boris" was really Immense. It was a
revelation of the possibilities of Russian
art heretofore undreamed of by West
erners. The season following Dlaghlleff
made noteworthy by the presentation of
several Russian operas and by Introducing;
for the first time In Paris the wonderful
ballet which he had himself organized In
every detail and which Included the very
best available exponents of the poetry of
motion on the Russian stage, the most
startling effect of latter day Russian scene
painting and ballet muslo composed not
only by the Russian composers already
known outside of Russia, but by several
younger men who might be called Dlag
htleff's discoveries.
The successes of tho previous year were
reaffirmed with a crescendo. The Russian
ballet became an annual necessity In
Paris' springtime. Doubtless thousands
of pleasure-seekers came to Paris espe
cially to see It They never went away
JSP A bit of the ballet "Caxnmal," M "jT W French artist
Uhrk J p .. m ,

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