|The Red Shoes (1948)||£10,000|
Leonide Massine, dancer and choreographer was born in Moscow in 1895 the son of a soprano & a musician from the Bolshoi Theatre chorus. He studied acting & dance from the age of 8 at Moscow's Imperial Theatre School. He was 19 when he was spotted by Diaghilev and recruited as the principal dancer in the Ballets Russes to replace the recently married Nijinsky. Although many said that as a person he was distant and unemotional, when on stage (or film) he showed a livliness and an ability for the understanding and expressing of strong emotions and tremendous humour. Massine's first original work of choreography was the innovative Parade (1917) with a libretto by Jean Cocteau, music by Erik Satie and decor by Pablo Picasso. Later on his set designers included Matisse, Salvador Dalí and Chagall. He went on to a hugely successful career as an international dancer and choreographer and while his private life remained tempestuous with four marriages and many affairs, his professional career seems to have been totally happy and satisfying for him. he was still dancing in his mid-sixties and was choreographing right up to his death in 1979.