Art Spotlight: The Ballets Russes

Well this last weekend I spent alot of time at the National Gallery and I’ll probably be back before too long. It turns out they don’t let you take the exhibit home, which I find unjust, but I made out like a bandit at the register…

Ballet Russes

This has been one of my favorite exhibits that I’ve seen. The concept is so amazing to me! They blew traditional dance out of the water combining modern art and dance and costume/fashion, culture and it was completely innovative.

The dancer and choreographer, Nijinsky changed dance and he laid foundations for ballet that have influenced our own dance culture. Ballet had been mainly focused on foot work, and the movement itself was restrictive in general, but it didn’t help that they wore corsets. Nijinsky, a male dancer in a primarily female art, introduced the world to movements that were completely different from what had been seen before. His movements were creative and new with sharp lines and odd angles and I love that he was inspired by images on ancient greek vases for the Afternoon of a Faun!

It still blows my mind that they fused so many different arts together in one place with set designs and costumes created by Picasso, Matisse and Coco Chanel and music created by Stravinsky (I have always secretly loved the Rite of Spring and now I have seen the costumes for myself in real life)! This exhibit has definitely reignited my desire to design stage sets and Anthropologie store window displays.

Anyways, this is just one of the ballets from the company, ‘Parade’. This is the ballet that Picasso designed the costumes and set and the music was created from typewriters and other everyday items that they felt symbolized their time period. Picasso was an artist that completely changed the definition of art for the world and then he brought that radical change to dance.

You may be like my one friend who thinks that modern art is ridiculous, but seriously, we wouldn’t have ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ without these things happening first, and that would be a travesty. I’ll stop ranting now, but if you want to pour over my book from the exhibition with me sometime, let me know.

Also Deep Peeps is almost done! I can’t believe the project has been up on Kickstarter and only has 5 days to go! It’s been a great project that I have loved working on it.

If you are in Northern Virginia this Friday, please come by and see me at the ‘Books & Other Found Things’ Bookshop on 13 Loudoun St SW in Leesburg from 6-9 pm. All of the original Deep Peep prints will be there as well as t-shirts and some other prints that are all for sale!

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