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The Russian Museum

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24 May - 20 June 2007
St Michael's (Engineers) Castle

The name was given to the exhibition by an outstanding Italian dancer, choreographer and collector Toni Candeloro. All the exhibited items are a rare evocation of Diaghilev and his artists who continued believing in the extraordinary "seasons of modernity" even after his death. Pho?tographers such as Roosen, Lipnitzky, Von Riel and Lido capture historical, fleeting moments of the Ballets Russes in rare photos, some of which have never been seen by the public before: including seven photos of Anna Pavlova "in prive" where she poses for a sculpture in the intimacy of a hotel room and another dramatic photo of Vaslav Nijinsky. The exhibit is en?riched by precious programs, objects of art and costumes which belonged to those "Russian-Europeans" responsible for the growth of the theatrical art of dance, not only abroad but throughout the world. According to Toni Candeloro the name Memento Album appeared spontaneously after a number of memorable things belonging to the stars of the Ballets Russes had been found. All these things date back to the period in the history of dance, which thanks to Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes introduced "universality" to art. Most of these "memorable things" were donated by the etoile dancers: Tamara Toumanova, Anton Dolin, Mia Slawenska, and soloists like Nikolas Beriosof and Tatiana Kranseva; Nina Tikanova, ballerina of Ballets Nijiska, Irene Lidova, acclaimed Russian dance critic in France and Georges Chapovalenko, tutor of Vaslav Nijinsky while he was in Rootvild (Austria) in the early 1940s. Addressing his idols — the renowned soloists of Diaghilev?s Russian Seasons and Ballets Russes and Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo: A. Pavlova, T. Karsavina, O. Spessivtseva, V. Nijinsky, S. Lifar; choreographers M. Fokine, L. Massine and D. Balanchine; artists and authors of stage designs and costumes L. Bakst, A. Benois, P. Picasso, A. Matisse; composers I. Stravinsky, A. Prokofiev and N. Rimsky-Korsakov and others — Toni Candeloro writes with sincere gratitude "…I am attempting to bring back your scents and the anxiety of cre?ativity through the photos, programs and all that you have found in your extraordinary baggage and gave me; here they are as they return to the arms of an inspirational turbulent mother …Russia. I have met you all, and each one of you is so very important, in the poverty, riches and tragedies of a revolution; and then there are also those who made a revolution by taking on Russian names in order to be a part of it".