Nijinski, Vaslav

BORN 12 Mar 1888, Kiev - DIED 7 Apr 1950, London
CAUSE OF DEATH kidney failure
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière de Montmartre, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 22)

Vaslav Nijinski was the son of the Polish dancers Tomasz Nijinsky and Eleonora Bereda. He graduated from the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg in 1907 and joined the Ballets Russes in 1909, where he worked under its founder Sergej Diaghilev. In 1913 he married Romola de Pulsky, the daughter of the Hungarian actress Emília Márkus. This led to a conflict with Diaghilev, who may have been in love with him secretly.

He resigned and attempted to start his own ballet company. During the First World War he was under house arrest in Hungary until 1916. He was freed after Diaghilev, Alfonso XIII of Spain and President Wilson all called for his release.

He started touring but the stress of the management was too much for him and he became mentally unstable. In 1917 he settled in Switzerland with his family but his mentall ilness grew worse and he was never able to dance again.

Romola stayed with him until his death in 1950. He was buried at St Marylebone Cemetery in Finchley, London. After three years his remains were transported to Paris and he was reburied at the Montmarte Cemetery.

• Wife: Pulszky, Romola (1913-1950, Buenos Aires)

Related persons
• cooperated with Diaghilev, Sergei
• was painted by Modigliani, Amédéo
• was sculpted by Rodin, Auguste
• was sculpted by Troubridge, Una Vincenzo

29/5/1913Premiere of Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" in Paris. The ballet was performed by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The choreographer was Vaslav Nijinski and he swept the floor with old ballet conventions. The shouting and whistling from proponents and opponents in the audience was so loud that the dancers were unable to hear the music. It was a traumatic experience for the cast. Stravinsky fell ill with typhus a few days later but he recovered quickly. [Diaghilev, Sergei][Stravinsky, Igor]


The grave of Vaslav Nijinski at Montmartre Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 May 2005)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
• Bremser, Martha [Ed.], International Dictionary of Ballet, St. James Press, Detroit, Michigan, 1993
Vaslav Nijinsky - Wikipedia

Nikisch, Arthur

Published: 30 Nov 2014
Last update: 03 Oct 2021