The aim of this study is to clarify what was Vaslav Nijinsky's intentions for his first choreographic
work, L'Après-midi d'un Faune, through the analysis of his words on the work.
Vaslav Nijinsky [1889? - 1950] is a Russian dancer and choreographer in the early 20th century,
and he was a member of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. His Faune has some strong characteristics:
two-dimensional symbolization, sexual representation, and angular forms and gestures. However, his
choreographic intentions of the work has not been thoroughly researched.
By further analyzing his words, it became clear that Nijinsky tried to harmonize the classical
attitudes of the ancient bas-reliefs and the aesthetical movements of the Greek-Roman mythological
characters in the Faune. Also, he was very interested in pure forms and gestures of ancient Greek
sculptures, and he tried to incorporate them into his work. Considering his aesthetic interests and the
contemporary art movements, it is concluded that he attempted to demonstrate purely plastic dancing
body in the Faune by adopting angular forms and two-dimensional symbolization from the theory of
the art of Cubism.
This article introduces a Russian ballet teacher’s personal history through the examination of
unpublished materials from the Bureau for Russian emigrants in the Manchurian Empire archive.
The woman was a ballet teacher of Masahide Komaki - one of the greatest Japanese dancers and
choreographers since World War 2. He had often changed his words when he wrote or spoke about his
ballet teacher. Until recently we have not known much about him despite the significance of his work
in Japanese ballet history.
He wrote his own ballet teacher’s name as “Kyatkovskaya” in his books, but her real name was
“Kvyatkovskaya Elizaveta Vasilevna.” She was born in a Russian province in 1887, worked as a prima
ballet dancer in opera theaters, and toured Russia with opera troupes.
After the Russian revolution, she escaped from Russian communists and arrived in Harbin in 1920,
where she started to teach ballet in her own studio. However, the life of emigrants was very unstable.
The Soviet government often disturbed her work.
At that time some emigrants’ organizations cooperated with the Manchurian government and
helped her by providing a venue for her studio work. Thanks to her Japanese relationship she could
continue her work.
After World War II, the memory about the great purge held by Soviet government was fresh.
A relationship with foreign countries could become a reason for punishment. Maybe for this reason
Masahide Komaki could not explain the true history about his teacher.