The Rite of Spring was choreographed by Njinsky with design by Nicholas Roerich. Roerich drew upon influences from Russian folk art and the costumes are hand painted in a naive style. The long tunics were pulled up and gathered into a belt. Crinkled socks were made from non-stretch cotton and had a seam from centre front to centre back which must have been uncomfortable for the dancers. The costumes were roughly made and it is therefore surprising that they are still in such good condition. It was a fantastic opportunity to see the costumes, they intrinsically communicate a history of manufacture, the wear and tear of life and they leave you pondering the status of their current position as museum objects.
For a 2013 tour of the Theatre & Performance Galleries at Blythe House click