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Costumes for Diaghilev’s “Ballets Russes” 1909-1929 by Professor William


Costumes for Diaghilev’s “Ballets Russes”  1909-1929 

With Professor William Eddelman Saturday, June 11th, 2016, 10 a.m. Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum

Admission: Free for current members of the Textile Arts Council $5 for students and members of the FAMSF, $10 General Admission For a period of twenty years (1909-1929) Sergei Diaghilev’s “Ballets Russes” astonished European audiences and became the most influential ballet company of the 20th century. By employing very talented designer/artists in ground breaking artistic collaborations, his company would redefine the aesthetics of ballet. Focusing on selected costumes, this lecture will show the relationships between designer’s sketches, finished costumes and thematic interpretations. We will look carefully at costume details and talk about the various fabrics and decorative trims that were used. In a few cases we will briefly discuss the relationship between costumes and choreographic movements.

Fortunately, many of the original costumes have been carefully preserved in museum collections in Europe, the United States and Australia; enabling us to explore through “up close” images the rich and beautiful costumes associated with the “Ballets Russes”.

William Eddelman, Associate Professor of Theatre History and Design, Emeritus, from the Stanford University Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, is a specialist in international theatrical design. He completed his dissertation research with a Fullbright scholarship at the Cini Foundation in Venice, Italy and was a member of the Master Classes at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany. During his teaching career at Stanford he combined both the creative and academic worlds through practical stage design work and classroom teaching. His diverse and interdisciplinary course offerings include theatre history, art history, cultural history, costume and scenic design, dramatic literature, theatre aesthetics and politics, musical theatre, opera and the psychology of clothes. He has taught several times at the Stanford Center in Berlin (focusing on the culture of the Weimar Period), taught classes for Continuing Studies at Stanford, and led travel study tours to Northern Italy for Stanford Alumni Travel. Beyond Stanford, he has designed productions for many professional Bay Area theaters, and has delivered lectures and curated exhibitions for a variety of San Francisco cultural organizations. Additionally, he established the Theatrical Design Collection at the Museum of Performance and Design (San Francisco) and is currently building a research library in International Theatre Design for the Achenbach Graphic Arts Foundation of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums.


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