Page:The Art of Nijinsky.djvu/43

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HIS CAREER

safe from the possibility of awkward competition. In a sense, indeed, Nijinsky was the key to the position.

From his own standpoint, on the other hand, Nijinsky himself was scarcely less clear-sighted in his view of the trend of affairs. The conservatism of the Imperial Ballet was becoming a byword among the more advanced spirits of the period, and having once tasted the joyous freedom of service with M. Diaghilew, he was not likely to remain content with the rules and regulations of an organisation which, in his view, was lamentably incapable of marching with the times. The result was that after one or two excursions with the Diaghilew ballet, Nijinsky's relations with the Imperialists became awkwardly strained. In the early part of 1911 the strain became intolerable, and on an unimportant pretext of costume

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