Sketch for the ballet Feu d'artifice

Giacomo Balla1917/1917

Teatro Alla Scala

Teatro Alla Scala
Milan, Italy

In 1917, at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, the current Opera House, Giacomo Balla staged (at least twice in the same month of April) Feu d'artifice for Djagilev's Ballets Russes, with music by Igor Stravinsky. It was a curious experiment of "ballet without dancers", in which lighting was actually dancing, articulated in a complex of switching on and off of as many as 49 polychrome lights. The scene designed by Balla was instead made up of geometric solids covered with canvas.


  • Title: Sketch for the ballet Feu d'artifice
  • Creator: Giacomo Balla (18 July 1871 – 1 March 1958)
  • Date Created: 1917/1917
  • Location: Library and archive of the Museo Teatrale alla Scala
  • Provenance: Donated by Luce and Elica Balla
  • Medium: Oil on paper

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