ORIGINAL 1916 SOUVENIR PROGRAM FOR THE BALLET RUSSE, WITH 25 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS INCLUDING 14 COLOR PLATES OF BAKST'S DESIGNS & HIS FRONTISPIECE OF DIAGHILEFF
(BALLET) (BAKST, Leon). Souvenir Serge de Diaghileff's Ballet Russe. New York: Metropolitan Ballet Company, (1916). Tall quarto (9-1/4 by 12-1/2 inches), original pictorial dark green stiff paper wrappers, original stitching; pp. 40. $1600.
First edition of the original program for the 1916 American tour of the Ballet Russe, with 25 full-page illustrations, featuring 15 splendid plates of Bakst's stage designs and costumes for the productions (14 full color including one double-page), nine duotones of the dancers in performance and frontispiece portrait of Diaghilev by Bakst, in original wrappers.
A gifted painter, Bakst is best remembered for the sets and costumes he designed for Diaghilev's Ballet Russes in the early decades of the 20th century. "His exotic and sumptuous designs, in conjunction with Diaghilev's radical and provocative choreography and Cocteau's artistic influence, helped to revitalize ballet and lay the framework for modern interpretive dance" (Steegmuller, 78). This beautiful 1916 souvenir program showcases the striking designs from many of the Russian Ballet's most renowned productions, including L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune, Le Dieu Bleu, Peri, Narcisse, Daphnis et Chloe and Scheherazade. Published in New York, where the Diaghileff troupe spent "its last four weeks in America at the Metropolitan Opera House." Rear inner wrapper with advertisement leaf as issued.
A fine copy.