For years New York City Ballet has collaborated with visual artists for their "Art Series" during the winter season—and every year it gets more epic. (Remember last year's crazy-awesome whimsical installation by Marcel Dzama?) If you're not familiar with the series here's TLD: NYCB teams up with an artist who then creates a massive, dance-y installation in the Koch Theater's grand promenade. This season brings us Santtu Mustonen, a Finnish artist currently based in Brooklyn. On his website, Mustonen says, "I am interested in visualizing the emotions of suspense, excitement, distortion and the surreal through painting, movement and new technologies." And after taking a peek at his Instagram, we're sold.
A photo posted by Santtu Mustonen (@santtumustonen) on
The bold, colorful graphics are getting us super excited to see what he has up his sleeve for NYCB.
Check out the NYCB announcement video below to learn more about some of Mustonen's inspirations (plus, there's some super dreamy footage of soloist Megan LeCrone).
How great is the New York City Ballet Art Series? Each winter, the company asks an artist (or artistic team) to create a dance-inspired installation for the Koch Theater's grand promenade. Then it celebrates the often-amazing results with special Art Series performances featuring discounted tickets. Sound familiar? That's because you were probably obsessed with JR's 2014 contribution to the series, which carpeted the promenade floor with life-sized photographs of the company's dancers:
Seriously, it was fantastic. (via NYT)
This year, NYCB has asked Marcel Dzama to create an installation. That's especially cool because Dzama is already wrapped up in the ballet world: He's also doing the sets and costumes for Justin Peck's upcoming premiere for NYCB, The Most Incredible Thing. (More on that in our February issue!) And the little glimpses we've gotten of those sets and costumes are totally awesome:
For the promenade, Dzama—who's based in Brooklyn and has work in the collections of major museums around the world—is creating a multidisciplinary installation with a chess theme. (Dzama has long been obsessed with artist Marcel DuChamp, who love, love, LOVED him some chess.) Somehow, it's going to involve oversized projections, a surreal collection of masks, a chess-like dance-off and Amy Sedaris. Based on the preview video the company just released, it looks like it's going to be wonderfully, fascinatingly weird, in a down-the-rabbit-hole kind of way.
Take a look!
It's time to get super psyched about multidisciplinary collaborations, guys.
Last year, New York City Ballet held its first annual Art Series, an installation that commissions contemporary artists to work with the dancers in hopes of inspiring something spectacular. And when they brought in FAILE, the Brooklyn-based partnership of Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, to kick off the series, the artists did not disappoint.
Just one result of the glorious collaboration between FAILE and NYCB
Well, it's just about time for the second annual Art Series—this time around featuring the French artist known as JR. (He keeps his identity "unknown"...how avant-garde is that?!) JR treats the world as his gallery, posting his artwork throughout the streets of different countries so that everyone—even those without the money or initiative to go to a museum—can witness art.
JR photographs the NYCB dancers in the shape of an eye. A little preview of the installation! (Photo by Spencer Elzay)
The installation will run in conjunction with the ballet for three performances—January 23, February 7 and February 13—at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center. All tickets are $29 (and everyone walks away with a small token of the exhibit...pretty good deal!). The gallery will also open to the public for free viewing from February 2 to February 9. Click here for more info.
In the meantime, check out this video where JR explains his experience working with NYCB: