The first performance of The Three-Cornered Hat by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in London in July 1919 was met with near-unanimous approval in the popular and serious press alike. Critics recorded theatregoers’ enthusiasm not only for the dancing but also for Manuel de Falla’s music and Pablo Picasso’s designs, despite their avant-garde qualities. This article examines the composition of the audience that attended the performance, and studies questions of contemporary taste by means of a detailed analysis of 21 press reviews. On the basis of this data, it proposes an interpretation of the ballet’s relevance to the British public in the immediate aftermath of the First World War as an emblem of the spirit of lightness, order and optimism that had begun to pervade the country in the days following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Russians, the English, and Spanishness: The Three-Cornered Hat in the London of 1919|
|Title of host publication||Repensar El sombrero de tres picos cien años después|
|Editors||Idoia Murga Castro, Antonio Martín Moreno, Elena Torres Clemente|
|Place of Publication||Granada|
|Publisher||Editorial Universidad de Granada|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 25 Jul 2019|
- Manuel de Falla
- Pablo Picasso
- critical reception
- public taste
- Ballets Russes
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- School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture, Music - Chair in Music