New York City Ballet: The Most Incredible Thing
Ah, the New York City Ballet Art Series. I mean. In life, there’s Christmas, and then there’s Villanova basketball, and then there’s the New York City Ballet Art Series. Good grief, it never disappoints. This year’s featured artist is Marcel Dzama, an illustrator/film producer/costume designer/sculptor/watercolorist/renaissance man. He created the costumes for the premiere of Justin Peck’s newest ballet, The Most Incredible Thing, with music by Bryce Dessner of The National. In addition, he filled the lobby theater with enormous movie screens featuring Amy Sedaris dancing freakishly with a painted eyeball on her forehead.
The Most Incredible Thing was impressive; with 60 dancers onstage together and multiple gorgeous costumes, it was on par in scale with The Nutcracker. However, I always prefer a simple ballet because they feel significantly more intimate. Give me a black leotard, tights and plain old bun any day. By that same standard, my favorite artwork in the lobby was Dzama’s simple sketches on good old NYCB throwaway notepads affixed with green Scotch tape.
Those Elie Nadelman sculptures didn’t know what hit ’em when they saw the artist coming at them with polka dots of felt. Hellllp usssss!!! We are dignifiieedddd!!!
As a parting gift, audience members were all given a book of Dzama’s beautiful illustrations, including a full pull-out poster of the drawing below. I was SO excited. I’m going to make copies of these drawings and try to learn to draw his figures (he makes them look like a cinch, but I know better).