In response to innumerable requests for a dance program, Mrs. Charles S. Guggenheimer, chairman of Stadium Concerts, Inc., announces that on Monday and Tuesday evenings, August 6 and 7, Michel Fokine will present his Russian Ballet in “Scheherazade” and “Les SyIphides.” A company of seventy-five will interpret these two popular choreographic masterpieces. The principals will be announced in a day or two.
The Stadium performance, according to Fokine, will mark the first time “Scheherazade” has been done under his personal direction in America. The story, by Bakst and Fokine, was inspired by the tales of the Thousand and One Nights and the music of Rimsky-Korsakoff’s greatest symphonic poem. The ballet had its premiere in 1910 with Ida Rubinstein as Zobeide. At the Stadium a copy of the original sets and costumes designed by Bakst will be used. In “Scheherazade” Bakst surpassed himself in the wild and startling luxury of his colors.
Modern ballet owes much to Michel Fokine. It has been said that the step from Petitpa to Fokine in the dance is wider than the step from Mozart to Wagner in music. Before Fokine the ballet of Russia was esentially a foreign art brought to St. Petersburg from Italy and France. It was Fokine who was responsible for what is now known as “Russian Ballet.” Where before only the legs moved, he used the hands, the arms, the torso, all combined in “expressive movement.”
Fokine was for ten years the professor of the Imperial Ballet School in Petrograd, the same institution where he himself had studied for nine years previously. As a dancer, he spent twenty years on the same stage. At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1917 he was unanimously elected artistic director of the ballet by all of its members.