The Nijinsky Plays

About The Nijinsky Plays

Vaslav Nijinsky (1890 – 1950) is perhaps the most celebrated and influential male dancer in the history of ballet. To his audience Nijinsky was something utterly unforeseen, a miracle; he was called the God of Dance. Auguste Rodin, the famous sculptor and creator of 'The Thinker', once said that "Nijinsky is the ideal model whom one longs to draw and sculpt."

Nijinsky rose to tremendous fame after meeting his mentor Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, a prominent figure in the St. Petersburg art world and impresario of the Russian Ballet. Nijinsky was drawn in by Diaghilev's charismatic yet controlling nature and they became lovers. However, the first time Nijinsky travelled unaccompanied by Diaghilev on a South American tour, he married dancer Romola de Pulszky. Reacting to the news of the marriage, Diaghilev fired Nijinsky from the Russian Ballet in a jealous rage. This destroyed Nijinsky's career and was an impetus for his downfall.

During WWI, Nijinsky, a Russian citizen, was interned in Hungary. Being a prisoner of war deeply impacted Nijinsky and exacerbated his inner turmoil.

When Nijinsky was thirty he had a nervous breakdown, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent his remaining 30 years in and out of mental institutions.