The most erotic adagio in ballet: Scheherazade. Music by Rimsky-Korsakov Choreography by Fokine

Ballet Scherazade Part 1 Kirov Kolb  Je-yeon

Ballet Scherazade Part 2

To me, the Adagio from Scheherazade is one of the most erotic and beautiful in all ballet. The brilliance of Fokine cannot be underestimated.  His are not period pieces but for all time.  Above is a performance of the adagio by the Kirov.

In mid-May 1910, Diaghilev’s dancers of the Ballets Russes left for Berlin, where their performance was to take place on 20 May. ‘Nijinsky had turned twenty in March and had continued to develop as a dancer. His sister Bronislava, who was a year younger and a talented ballerina in her own right, joined them for this  tour, and in her memoirs she described her brother’s progress, with an eye to detail that one would only find in a fellow dancer:

‘[…] He worked on the elasticity of the whole body in the execution of his own movements.  Even when holding a pose, Vaslav’s body never stopped dancing. In his adagio exercises, in the developpe front, he could not raise his leg higher than ninety degrees; the build of his leg, his overdeveloped thigh muscles, as solid as a rock did not permit him to obtain the angle possible for an average dancer.

In the allegro pas he did not come down completely on the balls of his feet, but rarely touched the floor with the tips of his toes and not the customary preparation with both feet firmly on the floor, taking the force from a deep plie. Nijinsky’s toes were unusually strong and enabled him to take this short preparation so quickly as to be imperceptible, creating the impression that he remained at all times suspended in the air.’

( from ‘Diaghilev’ [2009] by Sjeng Scheijen)

When the company returned to Paris at the end of May, there was much to be done. The next performance was to introduce Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’, and ‘Scheherazade’ to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov. Scheherazade created the greatest stir. ‘With its daring depiction of violence and Eastern sensuality […] it tapped into the longstanding vogue for orientalism in French art and literature, while its erotic violent imagery tied in with the emerging cult of primitivism… [‘Diaghilev’]Ida Rubinstein and Nijinsky took the leads. Rubinstein was famed as a beautiful actress although she was less a dancer.

Contemporary ballet dance- costume and dance are one

Diana Vishneva Beauty in Motion

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