Poster for the Ballets Russes. Anna Pavlova in Chopiniana. Théatre du Châtelet, Paris. Illustration by Valentin Serov. 1909. V&A.
Serge Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929) was a ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes. Called dictator, devil, charlatan, sorcerer, charmer - all names of a single man whose unique character and driving ambition caused a ferment in European culture. Diaghilev’s greatest achievement was his dance company - the Ballets Russes.