Nijinsky trained at the Mariinsky Ballet located in Saint Petersburg, Russia after graduation from the Imperial School of Dancing. He had great success with this company and danced several leads beginning at the young age of 18 which was unusual. Nijinsky caught the eye of ballet producer, Sergei Diaghilev, who featured him in several of his ballets.
The partnership between Nijinsky and Diaghilev may have led them to orchestrate a great scandal. After Nijinsky’s engagement with Diaghilev was over he was required to return to his company at the Mariinsky Ballet. At this same time Diaghilev desired to have Nijinsky dance in his productions which were being performed in cities such as Paris. In order to extricate Nijinsky from his Russian engagement he neglected to wear modesty trunks around his tights. This was grounds for dismissal with the label obscene applied to the performance.
In 1913, a fateful event took place for Nijinsky. Diaghilev’s company toured South America, but Diaghilev did not accompany Nijinsky on the ship because of a fortune teller’s prediction that he would not survive a boat trip should he ever take one. Without the object of his affection Nijinsky had to turn his sights elsewhere and he placed them on a Hungarian Countess by the name of Romola Pulszky. They were married when they arrived in Buenos Aires. This did not please Diaghilev and he promptly released Nijinsky from his company.
From 1913 to 1916 Nijinsky choreographed four ballets of his own. Nijinsky began to be known as someone who as someone who is daring and his ballets reflected that. The ballets, L’apres-midi d’un faune, Jeux, Till Eulenspiegel and Le Sacred du Printemps, all fall under the genre of modern dance. This is what Nijinsky was famous for, creating a new style of dance which created a major stir among the audiences. The scandals might have continued had Nijinsky remained healthy.
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