Stravinsky first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.
Written for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, with choreography by Michel Fokine Firebird has historic significance not only as Stravinsky's breakthrough piece, but also as the beginning of the collaboration between Diaghilev and Stravinsky that would also produce Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, Pulcinella and others.
The alleged affair between eminent Russian composer Igor Stravinsky and fashion design-icon Coco Chanel is shrouded in mystery. The relationship is claimed to have taken place while Stravinsky was still married to his second wife Vera, and she adamantly denied the credibility of Chanel’s assertions in her biography (written by Paul Morand) that she and Stravinsky were lovers.
The two definitely met, introduced by Ballet Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev in 1920. Indeed Chanel invited the whole Stravinsky family to stay with her in Paris for eight months, and it is also claimed that Chanel personally underwrote the 1920 Ballet Russes production of The Rite of Spring with a donation of 300,000 francs.
While the truth of their relationship remains an enigma, it is nonetheless an exciting thought that two such influential and iconic artists may have shared a secret tryst.