Page:The Art of Nijinsky.djvu/40

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to widen our ideas as to the intellectual and spiritual possibilities of the dance.

Such were a few of the influences which all appeared to be steadily converging upon the city of St. Petersburg. That something a little startling was bound to happen seemed certain. For on the one hand, you had the unique instrument of the Russian Ballet, an instrument quietly perfected through centuries of care and accumulating tradition; on the other hand, a whole new range of ideas and feelings, only waiting, it seemed, for a spark, to flame up into a new and wonderful life. Something however still was wanting—a tertium quid—and this was found presently in the person of M. Serge de Diaghilew.

It was in 1908 that M. Diaghilew first turned his attention to the Russian Ballet. Previously he had been engaged