NIJINSKY: God of the Dance
Early in the twentieth century, with virtually one bound, Vaslav Nijinsky leapt into the limelight and set the male ballet-dancer free to take centre-stage. Until then, s the French said, the male dancer was simply a ‘porter’ who carried the ballerina around the stage. But in ballets such as ‘L’Apres-Midi d’un Faune’ and ‘Sacre de Printemps’ Nijinsky became a legend – and a scandal, for he was accused of obscenity in the first and of single-handedly destroying tradition in the second. The pressures of being not only a dancer but also a choreographer and the tensions of his private life as the lover of the great Impresario Diaghilev drove Nijinsky to insanity, He lived on until the the1950s, but it was during his short working life that he changed the face of ballet in the West. ‘I worked like an ox and I lived like a martyr’, he wrote of himself.
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