Paris, The Ballets Russes and the Avant Garde

Paris, The Ballets Russes and the Avant Garde

Judith Chazin-Bennahum, UNM
May 10, 2020 (Sun), 
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
UNM School of Architecture, George Pearl Hall Auditorium

From 1909 to 1929 Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes scandalized, propagandized and revolutionized the performance and practice of ballet throughout Europe and the Western World.  They symbolized the Roaring Twenties as their radical stance in music, decors and movement had been established and continued until Diaghilev’s death in 1929. Igor Stravinsky’s scores for Firebird (1910), Petrouchka (1911), and Rite of Spring (1913) helped to pave the way for modern music’s florescence. The brutal energy and powerful dancing of Vaslav Nijinsky as well as his jagged choreography transformed attitudes about ballet performance. In the twenties women broke even more rules when Bronislava Nijinsky (Vaslav’s sister) reimagined how women used toe shoes and avoided strict ballet technique with her Les Noces (1923), Les Biches (1924) and Le Train Bleu (1924). And women designers Natasha Goncharova and Marie Laurencin reconceptualized the stage picture. The Ballets Russes brought contemporary ballet to America in the ‘30s where it has thrived for nearly 100 years.

UNM Distinguished Professor Emerita, researcher, and choreographer, Judith Chazin-Bennahum was Principal Soloist with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company when Antony Tudor was Director of Ballet. She received her Doctorate in Romance Languages at the University of New Mexico and is the author of many articles and seven books including Dance in the Shadow of the Guillotine, (1988) a book on late eighteenth century French ballet; The Ballets of Antony Tudor which received the De la Torre Bueno Prize in 1995 for the best book on dance; The Lure of Perfection: Fashion and Ballet 1780-1830: René Blum and the Ballets Russes: In Search of a Lost Life. Oxford University Press, 2011.  Most recently she wrote a biography of a friend, published by Amazon in 2015, Malka’s Journey: From the Holocaust to a Life Beyond.

Lecture: $15/Albuquerque International Association (AIA) Members, $20/Non-Members; High School & College Students with ID – Free. Please address checks to AIA and mail to AIA, PO Box 92995, Albuquerque, NM 87199 by May 7, 2020. You can also pay on-line with credit card or at the door (cash and check only).

*Early Bird 20% Discount: $12/AIA Members, $16/Non-Members. Payment deadline is April 26, 2020.

Supported in part by Tamara Tomasson, Haverland-Carter Lifestyle Group, Sandia Laboratory
Federal Credit Union and the City of Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund