Sunday, April 23, 2006

Art of the Dance

For the past 50 years, the Ruth Page Dance School has been located next door to our art club --- but last year, for reasons unknown, it occurred to us (Phyllis Brodney and I) that we might venture a cooperative event.

(immediately above, a beaming Phyllis is pictured on the opening night of our event -- and above that is the cover of the invitation -- a photo she took of one of the dancers)

Several small ballet companies perform throughout the year in the Ruth Page auditorium -- and we worked with one Phyllis knew, the "Chicago Ballet".

Their dancers were hired to pose in our workshops -- and photo opportunites were created at their studio and ours -- including the picture taken below:

On opening night -- thanks to the generosity of Phyllis and her friends, we had it all: food, exotic martini bar, a raffle for valuable items (including an antique pearl necklace ((Phyllis is a dealer)) -- and, of course, many attractive guests:

The highlight of the evening was a brief performance by Chicago Ballet dancers in our main gallery. It was a bit tight cramming everyone into that space --- but what a thrill to be standing 10 feet away from professional dancers at work:

And here they are dancing to the neo-fado vocals of Christina Branco:

Among the paintings on display, my favorite came from Terri Nicolli (whom I didn't know until this night) She used to take ballet lessons herself -- before going to art school -- so she was so thrilled to re-visit the world of dance:

Can't you tell ? Her paintings have that joy which -- I would suggest -- is the only reason to make paintings in the first place.

Among the sculptures, my favorite came from Susan Clinard -- whom I have known for several years.

She is so facile -- and dancing figures are her specialty. ( though she also works with tree branches in a kind of expressionistic style that always makes me wince) Several of our best known artist/teachers promised to contribute to this event -- but Susan was one of the few who actually came through -- in spades -- so I am very grateful.

And here is my contribution to the show -- stroking the (soon-to-be lost) golden hair of my sweetheart.

Above, it is pictured in the studio -- from which it just emerged -- at the last possible moment.

And here's the contributions of our two renowned communists -- (one from USSR , one from the People's Republic- can you tell which is which ? Which one is maybe a little too cold and distant ? -- which one is maybe a little too warm and familiar ? But neither are middle-brow American -- i.e. sentimental)

.. Finally, here's my favorite party crasher -- and anarchist that I am -- how could I keep her out ? I don't know whether any of her copy-machine posters got sold -- but as they added to the festive atmosphere -- I'm glad she brought them:


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