Featured Dancer: Vaslav Nijinsky
While Vaslav Nijinsky was active as a ballet dancer he electrified his audiences with protean performances and a virtuosity that was never exhibitionistic, but always related to the characterizations he forged by the genius of his creative imagination. As choreographer, also briefly, he provided a daring and exotic breakthrough into the 20th century.
His dancing was seen by relatively few audiences during the brief nine years of his professional dance activity, and there are no moving pictures of him. But there are photographs, and they are telling. Is it the same dancer who looks so unreal in The Spectre of the Rose, that grovels as the straw puppet in Petrouchka, that portrays the patrician Albrecht of Giselle and the sensuous harem slave of Scheherazade, the earthy Greek sculpture-come-to-life in Afternoon of a Faun? Each has a different weight, stance, movement, style.
Vaslav Nijinsky died in 1950 and is buried in Paris. Romola died in 1978. Daughter Kyra Nijinsky, born in 1914, painted many dance portraits of Vaslav, although she never saw her father dance. Daughter Tamara, born in 1920, worked with puppets.
Source Citation:"Nijinsky, Vaslav (1890-1950)." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 26 Apr. 2011.
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