Get Your Art On: Part 3

The Beauty of Nureyev at the de Young Museum

Rudolf Nureyev rehearses for "Marguerite and Armand" at Covent Garden in Britain in 1963. Photo: Michael Peto, The University Of Dundee The Pet / SF

Rudolf Nureyev rehearses for “Marguerite and Armand” at Covent Garden in Britain in 1963. Photo: Michael Peto, The University Of Dundee The Pet / SF

When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, there were few things more magical than when my parents woke me up late at night for something they didn’t want me to miss: a lunar eclipse, a fire truck screaming down the street, or Rudolf Nureyev dancing on PBS.  Through the gauzy veil of memory, I can still picture this man leaping impossibly high and landing with such elegance and joy that I could hardly get back to sleep.  And so it is fitting that I recently accompanied my parents to the de Young Museum exhibit, Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance, in San Francisco.

“You live as long as you dance,” was Nureyev’s mantra throughout his meteoric rise as an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, ballet master, and company director. In celebration of the remarkable art and career of this legendary performer, the de Young will present more than 70 costumes from ballets danced or choreographed by Nureyev—Swan LakeThe Nutcracker, and Manfred among them—as well as a selection of photographs, videos, and ephemera that chronicles his illustrious life.  (from the de Young Press Release)

My favorite part of the exhibit is the video installation that begins with a single dancer in a tutu projected on a translucent screen that covers an entire wall of the museum.  One sprightly ballerina is accompanied by a second. Two are joined by another and another until the whole wall is filled with effervescent ballerina fairies leaping and twirling across the screen in perfect formation.  The genius is that the actual bejeweled costumes from “Don Quixote” are illuminated behind the screen while the projection takes center stage.  I could have stayed there for hours watching the progression of the dance play out.

This is a special treat for the de Young, as it is the exhibition’s exclusive US venue.  Go see it before it’s over on February 17, 2013.


PS.  This post marks the one year anniversary of my blog!  Thanks for the support, everyone!
1 comment
  1. Michael John Warren / Director said:


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