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The intoxicating story of one of the greatest dancers in the history of ballet and the paradox of his profound genius and descent into madness.
Vaslav Nijinsky stands alone as a dancer, interpretive artist, and choreographic pioneer. His breathtaking performances with the Ballet Russe took Western Europe by storm, and his avant-garde choreography for The Afternoon of the Faun and Rite of Spring caused riots in the streets. Both are now regarded as the foundation of modern dance. Through his liaison with the great impresario Diaghilev, he worked with the artistic elite of the time—Benois, Bakst, Debussy, Fokine, Karsavina, Pavlova, Stravinsky—and lived in an atmosphere of perpetual hysteria, glamour, and intrigue. When he married a Hungarian aristocrat, Diaghilev abruptly dismissed him from the Ballet Russe. Five years later, he was declared insane. The fabulous career of the greatest dancer who ever lived was over. Drawing on personal conversations with countless people who knew and worked with Nijinsky, including his sister and famed choreographer Bronislava Nijinska, Richard Buckle has written the definitive biography of Nijinsky, now back in print for the first time in more than forty years.
Richard Buckle was one of the leading authorities on Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe. He was the ballet critic of the London Observer and the Sunday Times in London and was a pallbearer at Nijinsky’s funeral in 1950. Richard died in 2001.
“Those not born in a time to see the most extraordinary of all male dancers will realize that all they have heard from their elders is true.” Rebecca West Sunday Telegraph