'He is like a butterfly, but at the same time he is the epitome of manliness and youthful beauty. The ballerinas, who are just as beautiful, are completely eclipsed by him.'
'When he danced Spectre he was the very perfume of the rose because in everything he extracted the essence.'
Oh, oh, oh ... what can I say about the V&A's Ballets Russes exhibition except that I spent three hours there this afternoon, absolutely entranced. If only I could take a day trip back in time and see a performance. Would I pick the beautiful Nijinsky in Le Spectre de la Rose? (And he was beautiful, like a faun, I hadn't realised quite how lovely he was until I saw the sculpture of his head.) Or Tamara Karsavina dancing Firebird? (Though I chuckled at the cartoon of Mr Punch's spoof ballet Les Suffragistes starring M. Asquithoff and the Corps de Ballot.)
It was easy to see how Diaghilev set the world aflame with his Ballets Russes. What an explosion of colour and music and art. I saw costumes by Bakst and the biggest Picasso in the world and Lydia Lopokova dancing in a frothy little can-can number designed by Derain.
And there is even something for the knitters ... two wonderful woolly swimsuits designed by Chanel for the ballet Le Train Bleu. (For dancing, or posing but not, I think, for getting wet.)
You need at least three hours to see this spectacular exhibition; I hadn't realised how big it was, so I'll be going back for another look.