The First Season


Alexandre Benois (1870-1960). Les Sylphides, Scene design, 1909. Watercolor, ink and pencil. Howard D. Rothschild collection on Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev. pf MS Thr 414.4 (42). Bequest, 1989.

Les Sylphides

Although Diaghilev is best remembered for adventurous, modernistic, and sometimes sensual ballets, he also produced a number of earlier works that had more in common with the Russian ballet style of the past. This ballet, created by Michel Fokine, was first produced at the Maryinsky Theatre, in St. Petersburg, as Chopiniana, so named because it used music by Chopin. In 1909, the first season of the Ballets Russes in Paris, it was presented as Les Sylphides - not to be confused with the early-nineteenth-century ballet La Sylphide.