Petrushka 1/3

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Petrushka 1 2 3

The Moor

In the Fall of 1910, Sergei Diaghilev and Igor Stravinsky convinced Alexandre Benois to write the scenario (in collaboration with the composer) and to design costumes and sets for an original ballet to be entitled Petrushka. The ballet premiered in 1911, and was perhaps the most successful and influential Ballets Russes production.

LEFT:Benois' design for the costume of the Moor, Petrushka's successful rival and eventual murderer.

RIGHT: Benois' design for Petrushka's costume. Compare to the costume Meyerhold wore as Pierrot as well as the woodcut depicting a traditional Petrushka.

LEFT: Benois' design for the Ballerina's costume.

RIGHT: Goncharova also designed for the Ballets Russes. This costume was drawn for Diaghilev's Paris production of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Golden Cockerel (1914). The vibrant colors were typical for Goncharova, and they were much appreciated by Paris audiences who saw in them an example of Russian vital barbarism.


LEFT: This photomontage appeared in a Paris fan magazine devoted to the Ballets Russes. We see, in costume, the dancers who created the lead roles in Petrushka. At the top left is Tamar Karsavina in the role of the Ballerina. The top right is Nijinsky in the role of Petrushka. The bottom right is the Magician of Enrico Cechetti, and, on the lower left as well as in the center inset, the Moor.