'Nijinska' Lecture by Professor Lynn Garafola
DANSOX was honoured to present a guest lecture on "Bronislava Nijinska" by Professor Lynn Garafola (Barnard College, Columbia University). Lynn Garafola is a distinguished scholar, teacher, researcher, and writer with interests in the field of dance history. She is primarily acknowledged as the leading expert on the Ballets Russes (1909-1929), the subject of her seminal book, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (1989). She is currently researching a biography of Bronislava Nijinska, who was the sister of Vaslav Nijinsky, but also one of the greatest modernist choreographers of the twentieth century, producing works such as Les Noces (1923); Les Biches (1924); and Le Train bleu (1924). Professor Garafola's illustrated lecture traced the hurdles faced and overcome by a brilliant woman choreographer struggling to be acknowledged in an often hostile environment. DANSOX patron Sheila Forbes commented, "Professor Garafola's talk was fascinating, and the Nijinska story is both illuminating and very sad. Sad that so few of her works survived, and in the ways that she was treated both by impresarios and critics. The story of a great unappreciated creative talent, of a refugee to whom her culture continued to be central, and of a woman subjected to an unrelenting stream of misogyny because she stepped outside the culturally accepted roles - a story for our times in many ways." Heated discussion followed the stimulating lecture, with a reception in which Professor Garafola continued to answer audience queries.