Nijinsky leapt onto the stage this week at Melbourne's Arts Centre performed by the Australian Ballet, masterfully capturing the rise and subsequent fall of an artist who set a new precedence for dance.
Titled the God of Dance by the Parisians, or 'le dieu de la danse', Nijinsky truly experienced the dramatic extremes of talent and fame, shattered by the rapid decline in mental health that led to his last dance at a Swiss Hotel.
This is where acclaimed choreographer, John Neumeier, has set the scene of this powerful, captivating and chaotic production that carries you through the vivid memories of a man with increasing mental instability.
Rarely leaving our sight, Alexandre Riabko determinedly and exquisitely expresses the emotions and experiences of Vaslav Nijinsky as we witness his troubled relationship with family, lovers and fame. Kevin Jackson and Jake Mangakahia will also take this role over the next two weeks, all amongst a skilfully designed set and costumes inspired by the stunning 20th century Parisian glam of the Ballet Russes.
The unique element of this ballet is the challenge it has offered the male dancers to adopt Nijinsky's demanding and distinctive style; a challenge that has been met with grace and resolve. An awe inspiring piece that showcases the brilliance of Nijinsky while building compassion around his mental decline, this is a ballet that boldly connects the body with the mind, head on.
Nijinsky - The Australian Ballet
Melbourne Arts Centre
Adelaide 14-19 October
Sydney 11-28 November