Sergei Dhiaghilev (1872 - 1929) was a Russian patron of the arts and a ballet impresario who founded the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers emerged. He entered the art world while at university and was one of the founders of the Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) Journal. He become a special assistant to Prince Sergei Mikhaylovich Volkonsky and was soon responsible for the production of the Annual of the Imperial Theaters.
After organising a major art exhibition and presenting five Russian concerts in Paris, Dhiaghilev was invited back and brought with him some of the best young Russian dancers including Anna Pavlova, Adolph Bolm, Vaslav Nijinsky, Tamara Karsavina and Vera Karalli, and thereby forming the Ballets Russes.
He proceeded to commission ballet music from composers such as Tcherepnin, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Strauss, Prokofiev and of course his greatest collaborator, Igor Stravinsky and in the process created many well loved pieces. Many of those who worked with Dhiaghilev went on to become major figures in the ballet world in their own right.