Photograph of Vaslav Nijinsky in Le Spectre de la Rose, 1911. Music Div., Library of Congress.
Music by Carl Maria von Weber, orchestrated by Hector Berlioz; libretto by Jean-Louis Vaudoyer, after a poem by Théophile Gautier; sets and costumes by Léon Bakst; choreography by Michel Fokine; premiere on 19 April 1911, Théâtre de Monte-Carlo, Monte Carlo. This ballet featured only two dancers and Fokine described the intimate stage setting as “a tiny room, the two walls of which meet together in an upstage corner, leaving but little room for dancing. The difficulty lay in confining the dance to such a small space.” The dancers in the original cast were two of the most revered dancers of the early twentieth century: Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina.