Talk:Sergei Diaghilev

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Rather than start a fight straight off by changing things, does anyone know exactly how Sergei Diaghilev got to be in an article entitled "Serge Diaghilev"? There can surely be no doubt whatsoever that his birth name was Sergei Diaghilev, and this is what the article should be called. Yes, of course he was known in France and other countries by the Francophone version "Serge Diaghilev", and of course there should be a redirect from this, but in reality this was no more than a stage name. --PS4FA

I agree with the page move (just about), but just for reference, the convention here is not to put people under their birth name necessarily, but under the name they are best known by in an English context (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English), especially the second paragraph). I think that using that critereon, "Serge" wasn't very wrong, but looking through a couple of reference books, "Sergei" is probably better. --Camembert


There are rumours about him having a relationship with Nijinsky. Can anyone confirm these?

This is well documented. Nijinsky had already had a relationship with a Russian nobleman, to whom he was introduced by a pimp who was also a member of the corps de ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre. It does not appear that he was wholeheartedly homosexual, but consented to homosexual acts for money in order to hep support his mother, sister and emotionally disturbed brother - the family's father had deserted the home. In his memoirs, written after he had lost his mind, he admits that he 'went with' Diaghilev for money - but also says that he spent much of his time in Paris searching for good-looking prostitutes; and of course in due time he married. Richard Buckle's biography Nijinsky (London, 1979) has much of this detail. Derek Parker 06:06, 14 May 2007 (UTC)Derek Parker.


This article hasn't been touched in a while. I added more early information. I plan to add more about the Ballet Russes and art exhibitions later.--tufkaa 18:42, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

hi hyo kyong —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Sergei vs. Serge[edit]

His original legal name was Sergei (or Sergey, depending on the romanisation system used), but was he not universally known - in the West at least - as Serge (the French version)? That would be by far the most commonly found version of his name in reference works etc. Let's move it back to Serge Diaghilev. -- JackofOz (talk) 04:06, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Support as elsewhere. Note that we can still use Sergei in discussing his childhood before he came West. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:45, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
This seems to have gone nowhere. We can't really use the fact of unanimity in a 2009 poll of 2 people to support the move in 2013.
So, I'm proposing it again now. I'd still like it to be at Serge Diaghilev, for the same reasons I stated in 2009. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 02:30, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

badly written[edit]

Never mind the name, this is a very poor article in terms of structure. Having told us nothing about Nijinsky (surely one of the most important figures in D's life), the section "personal life" refers to "later bitter comments" inspiring some poem or other, but doesn't bother telling us what the comments are. Then it goes on to tell us that

"the old relationship between the men was never re-established; moreover, Nijinsky's magic as a dancer was much diminished by incipient madness. Their last meeting was after Nijinsky's mind had given way, and he appeared not to recognise his former lover".

I realise that dance aficionados may already know the background to this, but the average reader is left totally puzzled about "the old relationship", "magic as a dancer" and "former lover". Has a piece of this article been deleted, because that is how it reads. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:13, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Yep, I came here to make exactly the same point. We say nothing about their relationship when it was happening, only an oblique reference to if after it had ended. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 02:33, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the lead paragraph of the "Personal Life" section was deleted on December 5, 2011, apparently because it had unsupported claims. You can compare the before and after here: I agree that without this paragraph, the section reads awkwardly and makes little sense. Esk (talk) 07:31, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, quite a crappy article for Wikipedia. It mentions Diaghilev's homosexuality quite en passant whereas it was a central issue in his life and work.—Ana Bruta (talk) 21:08, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Related to both Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky[edit]

This is not generally known.

The Tchaikovsky connection is as follows: Diaghilev's mother died, and his father remarried, to Yelena Panayeva. Her sister Alexandra Panayeva married Georgy Kartsov, who was Tchaikovsky's first cousin once removed, being the son of his first cousin Alexandra nee Tchaikovskaya and her husband Pavel Kartsov (my source, Sjeng Scheijen's "Diaghilev: A Life", p. 21, calls him Tchaikovsky's "nephew"). Thus, Diaghilev's step-mother (and biological mother of his two half-brothers) was the sister-in-law of Tchaikovsky's first cousin once removed.

The Stravinsky connection is as follows: Stravinsky's great-grandmother (his mother's mother's mother) was Elizaveta Engel, who married his great-grandfather Roman Fyodorovich Furman. Elizaveta's sister Anna Engel married a Litke, and died in childbirth giving birth to her 5th child, the future Admiral Litke. He was Diaghilev's great-grandfather. Thus, Diaghilev and Stravinsky were 3rd cousins once removed. My source: Stephen Walsh, Stravinsky: A Creative Spring: Russia and France, 1882-1934, excerpt

Thus, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky were related to each other in a known way:

  • Stravinsky was the 3rd cousin once removed of Tchaikovsky's 1st cousin once removed's sister-in-law's children's half-brother.

I'm glad I worked that out. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:08, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Serge Lifar[edit]

The article about Serge Lifar says that Lifar was condemned as a collaborator with the Nazis. Here it says He saved Jews. Usually, these two things didn't go together.Tushyk (talk) 11:52, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Diaghilev deserved better...[edit]

What a shabby article! Diaghilev surely deserved better... There are two great biographies of him: Diaghilev by Richard Buckle and Diaghilev: A Life by Sjeng Scheijen (besides several good companion ones about Nijinsky).—Ana Bruta (talk) 21:02, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Cause of death[edit]

Diabetes is a chronic condition, rather than a fatal one: does anyone know what, specifically, caused his death? ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 18:26, 24 August 2016 (UTC)