Nijinsky, Vaclav

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Nijinsky, Vaclav [ Vaclav Nizhinsky] (b Kiev, 1889; d London, 1950). Russ. dancer. Entered St Petersburg ballet sch. 1898, graduated 1907. Joined Mariinsky Th. Danced with Pavlova in Fokine's Pavillon d'Armide (1907). Met Diaghilev and became prin. attraction in Paris seasons of Ballet Russe. Noted for his dancing in Les Sylphides (1909), Shéhérazade (1910), Spectre de la Rose and Petrushka (1911), Daphnis and Chloë (1912). Resigned from Mariinsky co. 1911 because his costume in Giselle was considered indecent. Choreographer for Diaghilev prods. of L'Aprèsmidi d'un Faune (1912), Jeux (1913), and Le Sacre du Printemps (1913). His marriage led to break with Diaghilev. Estab. own co. 1914 but it failed. Rejoined Diaghilev 1916, choreographing Till Eulenspiegel. Last solo perf. St Moritz 1919. Spent last years in mental hospitals. One of the greatest artists in history of ballet.