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Costume for the Ballet "Foire Espagnole"
Plate  in L'Art décoratif théâtral moderne (Paris: La Cible, 1919)
Natalia Sergeyevna Goncharova, Russian (active Moscow and Paris), 1881 - 1962
During the mid-to-late 1910s, Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Sergeyevna Goncharova worked on a series of ballets that, had they been realized, would have been perhaps the most radical of Ballets Russes' founder and producer Sergei Diaghilev’s productions to date. Larionov envisioned mechanized figures and stage sets for his Futurist ballets Théâtre des Ombres Couleurs (A Theater of Painted Shadows) and Histoires Naturelles (Natural Histories); while Goncharova fragmented and abstracted the human body in her costume designs inspired by Spanish dances. With no narrative framework, these ballets were abstract in both form and content, and served as precedents for the modernist innovations of the Ballets Russes in the 1920s.