Now that NYPL Digital Collections are released for public use, I’ll have even MORE excuses to stay up all night! So far, images I’m drawn to I’ve already seen elsewhere. Hm. Pretty excited about the Joffrey Ballet slides. Here is a design drawing by Leon Bakst for the ballet L’Apres midi d’un faune, one of my very favorites. My teenage crush, Nijinsky, put on this dirty little display of primal sensuality in 1912. See how he’s fondling that scarf and crossing his legs? Yeah. Sigh.
And the man himself, in ecstasy. The dreamy swells of Claude Debussy’s Prelude is the perfect soundtrack. Soundtrack? I just called ballet music a SOUNDTRACK. I’m leaving this here as testament to my mental decline.
Several reconstructions of the original choreography have been done over the decades, using the few surviving photos and drawings along with the written descriptions of the dancers and people who saw the performances. About the weirdest thing I’ve seen about it is this video that attempts to put these images in motion. It is STRANGE. But in a way, I think he would have approved. He was pretty strange, too. Even before he went mad. I often wonder if he was mad at all, just wonderfully strange, and no one could handle it then.