A Russian impresario
famous principally for his ballet
company the Ballets Russes
which brought imperial Russian dancers to the West, and for his work with avant-garde
composers such as Stravinsky
He was born in Perm in 1872, his Russian name being Sergei Pavlovich Diagilev. Between 1904 and 1908 he organized art exhibitions in St Petersburg and Paris, and his first theatrical staging was the opera Boris Godunov at the Paris Opéra in 1908. He followed this with a season of Russian ballet, which in 1911 became a permanent company: he led the Ballets Russes until his death in 1929.
His choreographers included Fokine, Nijinsky, Balanchine, and Massine. Composers who created works for him included Stravinsky and Ravel; and sets were designed by Picasso, Matisse, Miró, Leon Bakst, and Rouault among others.