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Trinity, arts evening, school, whitgift foundation, ballet russes, diaghilev, matisse, picasso, stravinsky, Chris Holley, Saint-Saens, Nadia Eskandari, Geoffrey Niu, David Swinson, Eugeny Goremykin, Shaw Gallery, Daria Kulesh, Alan Smith

The Ballet Russes celebrated in collaborative arts evening at Trinity School.

The Ballets Russes (1909 – 1929) was an exciting and innovative ballet company that inspired the collaboration of choreographers, dancers, composers, musicians, designers and artists. The creativity that was generated reverberated across the globe. These years were also incredibly significant as they also embodied the start of the First World War in 1914. Trinity School sought to recapture some of that excitement with an evening of dance, music and visual art inspired by Serge Diaghilev's famous company on the eve of Remembrance Day.

The artist Chris Holley gave an illustrated talk on Ballets Russes explaining how their director, Diaghilev, had exploded onto the scene in Paris with new ballets such as Sheherazade or The Rite of Spring. She explains: "Their modernity combined with the somewhat risqué nature of certain scenes and costumes ensured immediate attention and soon all the artists of the day, such as Matisse and Picasso, were flocking to see their shows and many became set and costume creators."

There followed music by Stravinsky and Saint-Saens beautifully interpreted by, respectively, Nadia Eskandari on the viola and Geoffrey Niu on the cello both accompanied by Musical Director David Swinson. A performance by talented students from the London Russian Ballet School, who continue to work in the tradition of the Russian classical ballet theatre under the direction of Eugeny Goremykin, closed the first half of the programme. The event then moved to the Shaw Gallery where the audience discovered an exhibition of artwork, including work by Trinity art staff and the wider community, inspired by Ballets Russes with musical entertainment by the Russian folk singer Daria Kulesh.

Trinity Director of Art, Alan Smith said: "It has been a huge pleasure to collaborate with artists both within and without the school community to bring to life for a modern audience the impact that the Ballets Russes had on the art scene a hundred years ago. The vibrancy of the response that this event has generated is testimony that the spirit of the the Ballets Russes is alive and well in the 21st century."


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