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Jacobs School of Music fall ballet honors 100th anniversary of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes

WHAT: IU Ballet Theater 2009 fall ballet, Diaghilev Tribute
WHEN: Oct. 9-10, 8 p.m.
WHERE: IU's Musical Arts Center, 101 N. Jordan Ave., just north of the intersection at Third St.
TICKETS: Currently on sale through the Musical Arts Center box office and Ticketmaster, tickets are $12-20 for adults and $8-16 for full-time students of any age with valid ID. The box office hours are Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Get ticket information online at, or call the box office at 812-855-7433.

Sept. 28, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Around the world, ballet companies from the Kirov to the Royal Ballet are planning performances that will honor the 100th anniversary of the first performance by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russes.

09-10 Ballet: Fall Ballet-1
Diaghilev Tribute
Print-Quality Photo

Joining the celebration, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Ballet Theater will present its fall ballet program, titled Diaghilev Tribute. The ballet features the work of two choreographers from the Diaghilev era, George Balanchine and Bronislava Nijinska, and new choreography from Michael Vernon, chair of the Jacobs Department of Ballet.

Diaghilev Tribute will be performed Oct. 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. at the Musical Arts Center.

Ballet Russes, or "The Russian Ballets," was a ballet company founded by Diaghilev in 1909 and ending with his death 20 years later. The company's productions were among the first to merge art, music and ballet, bringing to prominence many visual artists of the time -- including Picasso, Rouault and Matisse -- and revitalizing the art of ballet performance. Legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova and choreographer George Balanchine were part of the original company.

Diaghilev Tribute will be performed in three sections, beginning with "Valse Fantasie" (music by Mikhail Glinka), in which Balanchine's two very different versions of the ballet will be performed back-to-back. The second section, "Jeux" (music by Claude Debussy), which was originally choreographed by legendary dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, features Vernon's new choreography.

"This is a tribute to Diaghilev, whose philosophy was based in collaboration," said Vernon. "I am using the Debussy music and the basic idea of Nijinsky's ballet, and I have re-choreographed it as an homage to the Diaghilev era."

The evening closes with "Les Noces" (music by Igor Stravinsky), choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska. "It is an iconic masterpiece," Vernon said.

Diaghilev Tribute ushers in a Jacobs ballet season that includes holiday tradition The Nutcracker in early December and An American Evening in the spring, featuring choreography by Balanchine and Agnes de Mille.

"The Diaghilev centennial is being recognized all over the world by major ballet companies," Vernon said. "We're happy to be part of that and to make our own gesture toward this important era in dance."

For more information on the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Opera and Ballet Theater, see For general information about the Jacobs School, see