Art September 2013
On “Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Georges Rouault, Design for the back cloth for Home (scenes 1 and 3) from The Prodigal Son, 1929; pastel, ink, tempera, and watercolor on paper, framed: 74.9 x 95.9 x 3.3 cm (29 1/2 x 37 3/4 x 1 5/16 in.;) Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York/ADAGP, Paris.
A museum exhibition about dancing is, by definition, at least half dead. For paintings never moved, whereas dancers always did. When the dancing stops, so does the dance, even when—indeed, especially when—a gallery commemorates it.
Can we imagine a bygone dance alive again? Rarely, yes. So it goes for the most...
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