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Stravinsky’s Fox: Folk, Myth & Ritual in the Russian Silver Age: a Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre workshop

When Dec 14, 2015
from 10:20 AM to 02:30 PM
Where Department of History of Art
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           Larionov 1    Larionov 2

          Mikhail Larionov, Costume for the       Mikhail Larionov, Set design for the ballet Rénard (1922)
            ballet Rénard (1921) © Harvard       © Harvard University (Houghton Theatre Collection)
           University (Houghton Theatre Coll)

The centenary of the riotous first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s best known modernist work, Le Sacre du printemps (1913), has inspired numerous scholarly and public events in recent years. Less well known are the works Stravinsky wrote in Switzerland during the wartime years, which saw him developing his interest in themes drawn from Russian folklore. After the Pribautki of 1914, the one-act ‘burlesque in song and dance’ Rénard, commissioned by the Princess de Polignac, was written between 1915 and 1916; this was followed by, among other works, The Cat’s Lullabies (1915), Three Children’s Tales (1917) and Four Russian Peasant Songs (1917).

This interdisciplinary workshop explores ideas of folk, myth and ritual in early twentieth-century Russian culture. It comprises four papers situating Stravinsky’s work in the context of visual culture, music, fashion and dance, followed by a panel discussion chaired by Professor Philip Bullock. Papers seek to highlight synergies between modernist trends in these differing genres during the ‘Silver Age’, as well as the impact of Russian culture on the development of modernism in Western Europe around the time of the Great War.

This workshop is organised by the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre ( and seeks to complement the Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2015-2016 season ‘Myths and Rituals’. For more information see:
The event is enabled by a conference grant from the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge.

Click here for the programme.

•    Dr Rosalind Polly Blakesley: University of Cambridge
•    Dr Louise Hardiman: Independent Scholar, Cambridge Courtauld Russian  Art Centre


10.00-10.20     Registration


10.20-10.30     Welcome: Dr Rosalind P. Blakesley


10.30-11.30     Music, Literature and Art

  • Philip Bullock: University of Oxford 

Foxes and Bears: Afanasyev, Remizov and Jane Harrison

  • Louise Hardiman: Independent Scholar

Hares Hiding: Myth and Mystery in Elena Polenova’s Firebird Textiles


11.30-11.50     Coffee


11.50-12.50     Dance and Fashion

  • Katerina Pantelides: The Courtauld Institute of Art

Performance and Play: Russian Folk Culture in the Émigré Ballet Community c.1920-35

  • Djurdja Bartlett: London College of Fashion

Between the Ethnic and the Avant-garde: fashionable dress in the cultural landscape of early twentieth-century Russia

12.45-1.30       Roundtable discussion, chaired by Professor Philip Bullock


1.30-2.30         LUNCH (optional)


Papers will be 20-25 minutes long followed by Q&A.

Ticket price:    £12 (conference only) / £18 (including sandwich lunch);

Students:         £6 (conference only) /£12 (including sandwich lunch).

For further information please visit:

Click here to download a registration form.

In case of any queries please contact Dr Louise Hardiman at


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