A picture may be worth a thousand words, but as Ansel Adams once stated, “When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Fortunately, this week’s OneSix8 highlights two art events worth talking (and of course, writing) about.
Vaslav Nijinsky as the faun at the premiere of the Ballets Russes' production of <em>Afternoon of the Faun</em> at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in May 1912. <a href="http://www.npr.org/assets/img/2013/05/29/3202983_archive.jpg">Click here to see the full costume</a>.
Credit Edward Gooch / Getty Images
Léon Bakst's 1912 costume design for <em>The Afternoon of a Faun</em>.
Credit Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Henri Matisse's satin costume for a dancer in <em>The Song of the Nightingale</em> (1920).
Credit Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Set designer Alexander Schervashidze enlarged and reproduced a Picasso painting, to serve as a front curtain for "The Blue Train" (1924).
Credit 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS)
This 1910 gelatin silver print by Eugène Druet shows Nijinsky in <em>Siamese Dance</em>. The story goes that when asked how he jumped so well, Nijinsky answered, "It's simple. You just jump up there and wait a little while."
If your idea of ballet is a flurry of tutus and toeshoes, a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington will expand your vision. "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes" shows the revolutionary impact a group of dancers, composers, artists and choreographers made on classical dance at the start of the 20th century.
Several productions in New York's smaller theaters aren't content with providing passive experiences — the audience is asked to participate. Here Lies Love, a new David Byrne musical about Imelda Marcos at the Public Theater, is set in a disco and the audience moves around, from scene to scene, dancing all the while. Natasha, Pierre and the Comet of 1812, is an electronic pop opera based on a portion of Tolstoy's War and Peace, and is set in a Russian restaurant where audiences are served a meal and vodka as part of the performance.
Sometimes records have to steep. Four years after it was recorded live in Lucerne, Switzerland, an album of six standards called Somewhere is finally getting a proper release. Keith Jarrett and his trio, including bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, just weren't happy with the sound of the room or the circumstances at the time. Listen to Somewhere, however, and none of that comes across.
"Don't put your daughter on the stage," Noel Coward famously cautioned his imaginary Mrs. Worthington, and no wonder: Stage acting is one of the toughest professions imaginable. For all the potential triumph, there's hardly any job security — and more than a little potential for heartbreak and disappointment.
Pianist and singer Barbara Carroll is an old and dear friend of Piano Jazz host Marian McPartland. In fact, Carroll was the second ever guest to appear on Piano Jazz when the show began 30 years ago. Carroll recalls 1979 as a banner year for her, as well — it's the same year she started what became a 25 year run performing at Bemelman's Bar, at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.
When Duke Ellington received the news that Billy Strayhorn, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years, had died, Ellington reportedly cried and told a friend, "No, I'm not all right! Nothing is going to be all right now."