Friday 25 March 2011

Vaslav Nijinsky (1)

Is it ever a waste of time to wonder who took the best photographs of Vaslav Nijinsky? Was it Edward Hoppé or Baron De Meyer? Hoppé’s are some of the most romanticised images ever created of a male dancer. Nijinsky appears so effete that it looks as if he is being consumed by the epicene. Sugary, syrupy and frou-frou. Yet, the images are unforgettable in the extreme. It is as if Nijinsky is being gassed by candyfloss. Who could ever wear such dance costume and not be overcome by an eternal blush? Nijinsky was the greatest male dancer of the twentieth century. There is no moving image footage of him. He was never filmed. So, we have to let still photographs evoke his stage charisma. Hoppe’s portrait’s do this in extremis. Here is a link to a marvellous book of Edward Hoppé’s modernist photographs: I will post Baron De Meyer’s images later.

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