Photograph of Le Train Bleu, 1924, no photographer. Music Div., Library of Congress.
Music by Darius Milhaud; libretto by Jean Cocteau; sets by Henri Laurens; costumes by Gabrielle (“Coco”) Chanel; curtain by Pablo Picasso; choreography by Bronislava Nijinska; premiere on 20 June 1924, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris.
This ballet examined the shallowness of modern love and its title was motivated by the train that took fashionable sun worshipers from Paris to the chic seaside resorts of southern France. The ballet’s characters included a tennis player, based on a 1920s French champion, Suzanne Lenglen, and a golf player said to be modeled on the Prince of Wales. Other characters in the ballet were described by the librettist Jean Cocteau as “tarts and gigolos.”