Friday, August 1, 2014

a trip to NYC to see the ballet

Do you know you JR is? Oh you do. Good we can still be friends. Oh wait some of you don't well you better go look him up real quick (and then we can be friends again). JR is a French street artist who is doing some incredible things. His work is absolutely amazing. It is art that is connected to everyday people and is often infused into everyday landscapes. 

A while back he started on a collaboration with the New York City Ballet. The NYCB hosts an Art Series, this year JR was one of the featured artists. But his collaboration with the ballet has turned into so much more. He ended up choreographing a dance piece entitled Les Bosquets. JR and the dancers then traveled to Paris to make a short film. This little trip resulted in some amazing images, I mean how could you go wrong with ballerinas in tootoos hanging out in shipping containers. 

The only way to see the pieces that he created for the NYCB art series was to attend a performance of the ballet. So during the Spring semester I decided to take full advantage of the close proximity of east coast cities and jumped on a bus and headed to NYC for the day. 
And I was not disappointed.
 I have always loved the ballet. My papa use to take me to see the Nutcracker every Christmas and having parents who work in theater meant that I had the opportunity to enjoy many dress rehearsals for dance concerts. I did have a short lived attempt at learning ballet but grace is something that I am desperately lacking. But I will always have a profound appreciation for it just the same. There is nothing more magical to me than a ballerina floating in the air, for that moment they just seem weightless, almost as if they are floating down from the heavens like a feather. 

JR's exhibit was all about the dancers in the NYCB and he did an amazing job
 at making them larger than life...........literally. 

Can you see the ballerinas up there?? 
They covered all the windows of the building .... it was beautiful. 

Here is a giant pointe shoe. 
This foot connected to the images covering the windows above.

Here is the inside of the atrium to the theater. 
You can see what the images on the windows looked like from the inside. 
It really looked as if there were giant ballerina puppets walking by. 

While the outside was amazing. The inside was something else. 
Imagine the ballet version of the Sistine Chapel on the floor rather than the ceiling.
There are some really amazing videos of the process for creating this image. 
Which if you can't really make it out, it is an eye that was created out of large pieces of wrinkled paper with dancers folded in (that sounds awful).
But trust me it was magnificent.  
You can see the details better in some of the images below. 

It was so amazing to be able to get so close to something so big. 
To actually be a part of it. 
To walk on it and touch it and not have it hidden away out of reach. 

I have a deep appreciation for theaters. 
I think a lot of it has to do with how much time I spent in them growing up. 
My papa would bring me to rehearsal in the evenings. 
I would sit in those lovely red seats and some kind college student or coworker of his would entertain me by making my beanie baby lamb talk to me. 
It never occurred to me that other children didn't spend their evenings walking around back stage and sitting by the tech table in the back rows of a nearly empty theater. 
It never occurred to me that not everyone else got to dress up to go to opening night. 
There are many down sides to having parents who work in the theater industry (I mean just think of it performances are on the weekends). 
But there are many upsides. 
I grew up surrounded by Shakespeare, real life dress up, and the understanding that with some wood, some paint and a whole lot of creativity and imagination you can create an entirely different world for the sole purpose of telling a story to a room full of adults.
It really is story time for big kids.  

Can we talk about this chandelier/disco ball.
I hope they have some intense dance parties. 
Otherwise they are really not taking full advantage of the amazingness up in the sky.

So please do yourself a favor and find a ballet in your local town and buy yourself some tickets.
(this does not need to be professionals, your local two years olds are just as wonderful of a choice)

And sit in awe as you watch mere mortals take flight if only just for a night.