Sergei Diaghilev, who was terrified of the sea, posing with a life preserver aboard a ship. Photo courtesy DM Archives
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.
Marc Crousillat and Amos Machanic in Netta Yerushalmy's Dahpis and Chloe, with designs by Reid & Harriet. Photo courtesy Reid & Harriet
New York-based costume designers Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung are in high-demand. Though the duo, who together make up Reid & Harriet Designs, work with major choreographers around the world, they're often frustrated with the backseat role that design plays.
So when Guggenheim Works & Process general manager Duke Dang approached them with an idea to create a designer-driven program exploring the creative methods of the Ballets Russes, they were intrigued.