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Ballet Russes archive footage

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Will Gompertz | 08:45 UK time, Wednesday, 2 February 2011

This film is a great find. Ballet Russes were one of the most remarkable arts companies of any type ever to have been created: Serge Diaghilev perhaps the most influential impresario of the 20th Century.

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But when you watch the film is there not one overwhelming thought crossing your mind? They look a bit err...amateurish. Lovely of course, but not quite what one would have expected.

Which just goes to show that the Russian Impresario - a gifted marketer and packager of his product - was correct when prohibiting any filming of his legendary company for fear they wouldn't look very good.

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