Nijinsky: A Life of Genius and Madness (Paperback)
The intoxicating story of one of greatest dancers in the history of ballet—and the paradox of his profound genius and descent into madness.
Vaslav Nijinsky was unique as a dancer, interpretive artist, and choreographic pioneer. His breathtaking performances with the Ballet Russe from 1909 to 1913 took Western Europe by storm. His avant-garde choreography for The Afternoon of the Faune and The Rite of Spring provoked riots when performed and are now regarded as the foundation of modern dance.
Through his liaison with the great impresario Diaghilev, he worked with the artistic elite of the time. During the fabulous Diaghilev years he lived in an atmosphere of perpetual hysteria, glamor, and intrigue. Then, in 1913, he married a Hungarian aristocrat, Romola de Pulszky, and was abruptly dismissed from the Ballet Russe. Five years later, he was declared insane. The fabulous career as the greatest dancer who ever lived was over.
Drawing on countless people who knew and worked with Nijinsky, Richard Buckle has written the definitive biography of the legendary dancer.
About the Author
Richard Buckle was one of the leading authorities on Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe. He was the ballet critic of the London Observer and the Sunday Times in London and was a pallbearer at Nijinsky’s funeral in 1950. Richard died in 2001.
This will be the definitive biography for decades.
has chosen the legendary dancer as his focus in a study encompassing
the whole Diaghilev empire. We find an unobstructed view of this
otherwise opaque man.
book is the equivalent to a last opportunity to attend the golden age
of the Russian Ballet. Buckle makes those golden pre-war summers live
— Sacheverell Sitwell