- NAME: Sergei Diaghilev
- OCCUPATION: Critic, Ballet Dancer, Choreographer, Songwriter, Journalist
- BIRTH DATE: March 31, 1872
- DEATH DATE: August 19, 1929
- EDUCATION: University of St. Petersburg
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Perm, Russia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Venice, Italy
- Full Name: Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev
- AKA: Sergei Diaghilev
- AKA: Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev
- AKA: Sergey Diaghilev
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Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian artistic visionary and founder of Ballets Ruses, which profoundly shaped the course of the dance/performance world.
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Despite the public acclaim, Diaghilev was often an overbearing personality with his company, which also suffered from financial hardships. Diaghilev barely kept things afloat through his own outreach, panache and machinations. (One of the great economic burdens on the company came as a result of the big 1921 staging of The Sleeping Princess, aka Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty.)
Diaghilev was also open about his sexuality and known for his relationships with men,
having engaged in affairs with Russes dancers as well, including Nijinsky, Léonide Massine and Serge Lifar. With Nijinsky and Massine, he fired both men after they married and/or entered into relationships with women, with Diaghilev subsequently experiencing breakdowns.
Having suffered from diabetes, Diaghilev became ill and lapsed into a coma after a trip to Venice, Italy, dying there on August 19, 1929. His work and ideas deeply affected how various parts of the art and performance worlds continue to come together, with a large number of dance companies and organizations based on the Ballets Ruses concept. A well-received biography of the iconic producer was released in 2010—Diaghilev: A Life by Sjeng Scheijen.
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