Sketch of Sergei Diaghilev by Jean Cocteau, 1954

Odyssey Festival Orchestra

Astonish Me!

Wednesday 20 September 2023, 19:30

Past Event
Odyssey Festival Orchestra Past Event


Weber/Berlioz Le Spectre de la rose
Stravinsky Petrushka – extracts
Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2
Rossini/Respighi La boutique fantasque
Stravinsky Pulcinella – extracts
Falla The Three-Cornered Hat: Suite


Odyssey Festival Orchestra
Kathryn Hunter narrator
Peter Ash conductor
Dan Harrison dancer

London’s vibrant new youth orchestra embarks on its second season with a programme of works commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev for his Ballets Russes. This extraordinary dance company was animated by the idea of connecting the visual arts with the world of music and movement. Its goal was to create a single all-embracing art form.

Composers such as Ravel, Stravinsky and Manuel de Falla would work with visual artists of the calibre of Picasso, Bakst, Delaunay, Matisse and Natalia Goncharova.

Diaghilev was blessed with a company that included some of the most brilliant figures in the history of dance: choreographers like Fokine and Massine and legendary dancers such as Nijinsky, Pavlova and Tamara Karsavina. Between 1910 and 1929, they were responsible for some of the most ground-breaking works of modernism and neo-classicism.

The concert’s narration, drawn largely from the memoirs of the company’s prima ballerina, Tamara Karsavina (who emigrated to the UK in 1918 at the height of the Red Terror, aged 33, and lived in London for the next 60 years), explores how to achieve these ends; Diaghilev repeatedly commanded his collaborators to ‘astonish him’.

Ticket Information

£45, £37, £29, £21, £12

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