Page:The Art of Nijinsky.djvu/22

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prophet; and that this particular prophet has proved most happily at fault will be plain to everyone. The passage is quoted here, however, not at all for the simple pleasure of refuting it, but rather because it aptly indicates some of those more than ordinary difficulties which lie in wait for any English critic of the Russian Ballet. For it must be remembered that our author of the Encyclopædia was hardly, if at all, behind the times in which he wrote. M. Diaghilew's company did not make its first appearance in London till the summer of 1911, and though before then there had been considerable evidence of a revival in individual dancing, concerted dancing on a definite theme (which we may take as a practical definition of the ballet) had seldom reached a lower stage of insignificance. In those days,