Strike a Pose: NYC Ballet’s Art Series
For the second year in a row, the New York City Ballet aims to gain a younger audience by filling its lobby with gorgeous, interactive art. The Art Series is a collaboration between NYCB and an artist making waves, and every single audience member goes home with a piece of the artwork.
This year featured Parisian artist JR, a photographer, TED Prize recipient, and creator of “pervasive art.” He photographed the lithe, beautiful NYCB dancers in white leotards wrapped in swathes of white paper, and combined the images to create an enormous eye. Best viewed from the fourth ring (the top floor of the theater), audience members danced in the center of the eye and laid on the floor alongside their favorite dancers. This was not a typical, staid evening at the theater. As a DJ spun music in the lobby, the front doors bulged with people pushing their way in. Ballet! Art! We need ballet and art! I love New York.
The evening featured an introduction by a couple of the soloists, who look even more luminous and fit in street clothes than they do in their costumes. Because the audience was filled with first-timers to the ballet, the introduction explained the history of the dances and how the movements correspond with the music.
Afterwards, every audience member was invited to hang out with beers and received a paper cut-out diorama of the theater with JR’s dancer’s eye on the floor.
Last year’s inaugural art series featured Brooklyn-based FAILE, who created a tower of screen printed blocks of old ballet posters, and we all took a block home with us!