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August 06 2013 6:00 AM ET
Boris Kochno (1904 — 1990)
In 1920, Kochno became Sergei Diaghilev's secretary, librettist, and eventually, his main collaborator. They were also lovers until Diaghilev's death in 1929 at 57. Kochno was there to witness the collaboration of many of the great artists of the 20th century, as well as befriend them and bed them, including an affair with Cole Porter in 1925, with whom he carried on a lengthy correspondence.
With Diaghilev, at left.
After Diaghilev's death he and dancer/choreographer Serge Lifar tried to continue the Ballets Russes, but to no avail. Later he worked as the Monte Carlo ballet director, where he became an influential figure in post-WWII French ballet. At the end of WWII, Kochno entered into collaboration with Roland Petit and Christian Berard, and they formed the Ballets des Champs-Élysées.
His books about Diaghilev and his good friend Berard are full of art and gossip of the European bohemian crowd as well as its upper crust.
Above: The creative team of Cotillon (1932) (seated) librettist Boris Kochno, Rene Blum, fellow impresario Colonel de Basil, choreographer George Balanchine (standing) set designer Christian Berard, rehearsal director Serge Grigoriev.
Sources: Wikipedia, Gayfortoday.blogspot.com
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