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The Johnston Letter
by Jill Johnston
Cross-Country:
A memoir of France
by Paul Ben-Itzak
Art Investment News
Martha Graham Archives
The Buzz
& The Artful Voyager
by Paul Ben-Itzak
The Dancer's Life:
Advice from
Anne Wennerstrand
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by Tobi Tobias
Gielgud Interviews
de Valois
Mason Interviews Stiefel
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Below you'll find the headlines and first paragraphs of our latest stories. Subscribers get full access to the complete stories plus our 16-year archive for just $29.95/year. Click on the Paypal 'Subscribe' button below, or e-mail to ask about payment by check or institutional subscriptions. New! Purchase a discounted 1-year listing on our popular Dance Insider Directory and Summer Study Guide for just $129 by midnight December 15 and get a free 6-month Home page banner. E-mail publisher Paul Ben-Itzak. Reach the ideal market for your dance products and the best talent pool in dance for your faculty openings and student body with Dance Insider Home page banners starting at $49/month and Hot Classifieds at $1.25/word. E-mail Paul.



Among the works being auctioned off by Artcurial in Paris for its December 1 & 2 Impressionist & Modern Sale: (Above) Salvador Dali, "Pissenlit" (Dandelion), a costume design for Leonide Massine's ballet "Tristan Fou," which premiered in New York on December 15, 1944, to music by Wagner. Gouache, watercolor, ink, and collage on paper, 29.5 x 22 cm. Annotated at lower right. Artcurial pre -sale estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 Euros. And (below) Edgar Degas, "Deux danseuses vues en buste, les bras leves," three pencils on paper, 41 x 44 cm. Stamp on lower left "Degas." (Lugt 658) Artcurial pre-sale estimate: 40,000 - 50,000 Euros. To read more about the auctions and see more art, visit our sister magazine Art Investment News. Images courtesy Artcurial.


Find Tulsa Ballet (above) and more on the Dance Insider Directory & Summer Study Guide. Click here to see the Directory and find out how to list your company, school, university, college, service, or website.


What vanished with the art stolen by the Nazis was not just the actual works nor the lives of the collectors, but a sort of alternate curatorial universe to that represented by the museums, normally compartmentalized and subject to individual agendas. Replace these often complex criteria with one sole directive -- to amass the extraordinary, without regard to the frontiers of eras, movements, schools, genres, and geography -- and you might come up with the eclectic 'cabinet d'amateur' constructed by the late Ernesto Wolf, who fled Germany in 1938, and his wife Lubia, herself a trained sculptur. Ranging from intricately illustrated medieval books to (above) Marc Chagall's illustrations for the Greek tale of "Daphne & Chloe" (he'd later design the ballet), and including third century idols, the collection goes on exhibit at Artcurial Paris November 28 ahead of being auctioned off December 1 - 10. Above: "Daphne and Chloe," Marc Chagall and Longus, Paris, Teriade, 1961. Courtesy Artcurial.


Among the 125 works by Andre Kertesz (1894 - 1985) to be exhibited by Artcurial in Paris November 12-14 before being auctioned off on the 14th: "New York building." Silver print on cartoline, 20.5 x 16.5 cm. For more images, check the full article on our sister magazine Art Investment News . Image courtesy Artcurial.

In Memoriam, 11-5: Fall River Legend
Eileen Darby: She happened to like New York
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

When I received the news that my friend, my mentor in life and work (we met in 1995 when she was advertising director at Dance magazine, and she's been the Dance Insider's advisor since its founding in 1998), my guide, my 'repere' of first resort, my rock, my model for the realization of the New York fairy tale Eileen Darby had 'passed away,' my first thought -- after the shock and upset, and I am still in shock, I don't think I've yet realized that Eileen is gone, it's surreal even to be writing this, as it's the sort of piece I would send to Eileen before anyone for input and approval -- was that Eileen would have frowned at the use of the euphemism 'passed away,' as she did whenever I used it in an obituary. "Just say 'died'!" And even the first word that comes to mind to describe Eileen -- 'class' -- is one at which she would grimace. "'Class' is a word used by those who don't have it. It's cheap." As in, "Classy Chassy Cassie" -- George Raft to waitress Anne Sheridan as she turns to pour coffee for him and Humphrey Bogart in "They Drive by Night." And speaking of coffee, Eileen, who liked to make hers in a French press (they're actually made in Switzerland), added the touch of stirring the grinds up to better distribute and dissimilate the flavor, a gesture I'd copy early mornings in the narrow kitchen of her spacious two-bedroom on the 8th floor of Peter Cooper, while looking out the window at the green and white road signs along the FDR set against the East River, where Gatsby's Green Light was mirrored by a purple neon palm tree ("Tacky!" sighed Eileen) on the deck of one of the private boats docked near the heliport: the quintessential New York scene, the New York of my dreams, which always signified this prodigal's return to the city, Eileen's the traditional gateway as she hosted me for a couple of nights after my 'aterrisage.' Click here to read the full Article.


Gino Severini, the Futurist who loved to cite Stephane Mallarme's assessment that "the dancer is not a woman but a metaphor," anticipated the psycho-socio experiments of Martha Graham and foreshadowed the spun-off virtual dancers of Merce Cunningham's "Bi-Ped." None of his work demonstrates this better -- besides the kaleidescopic Parisian cafe of Severini's reconstructed 1912 magnum opus "Danse du Pan-Pan au Monico" -- than "Danseuse," painted during the Winter of 1914-15, on auction at Christie's Paris for its October 23 - 24 Modern Sale. To read more about the work, Severini, other oeuvres on auction, and the latest abundance of art activities and news in Paris, visit our sister magazine Art Investment News. Above: Gino Severini (1883-1966), "Danseuse," signed and titled 'Gino Severini "Danseuse"' (on reverse side). Oil on canvas, 55 x 45.7 cm (21 5/8 x 18 inches). Christie's pre-sale estimate: 1 million - 1.5 million Euros. Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2014.


Present at the creation: Before there was a generation of Pina Bausch wannabes and acolytes, there was 1974 in Wupperthal, when Bausch, a student of and former dancer for Kurt Jooss, took over the local ballet company and used those elegant long arms and their wide reach to up-end ballet and a modern dance world which has never been the same since. KH. W. Steckeling, a documentary film-maker trying his hand at photography, was there, invited to photograph the incipient company at work and at play, and his portraits -- 150 of which have recently been published by Stefan Koldehoff in collaboration with the Pina Bausch Foundation in "Pina Bausch Backstage" -- have the aspect of home movies of an artist (and her entourage of young and versatile performers) on her way to becoming an archetype. Distributed by Nimbus Books, the 184-page hardcover is selling for 36 Euros. Photo copyright KH. W. Steckelings and courtesy Nimbus Books.

In Memorium, 10-23: The Utopia of Gerard Violette
"Nothing matters but the possibility of exchange"
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

"Gerard Violette... was an extraordinary, visionary professional in the global dance community. Annually presenting the works of Pina Bausch, among many others, at the Theatre de la Ville made it possible for all of us to see the range and breadth of a choreographer's art. He made an enormous contribution to the lives of artists and dance curators of many generations throughout the world."

-- Joseph V. Melillo, executive producer, Brooklyn Academy of Music

PARIS -- It's hard to over-estimate the body blow to curatorial curiosity and courage delivered by the recent loss of Gerard Violette, who piloted or co-piloted the Theatre de la Ville for 40 years, introducing or stewarding artists from Pina Bausch to Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, unveiling to the West the unparalleled cries of Nusrat Fatah Ali Kahn and other Eastern singers as well as mentoring and nurturing the virtuoso dancers and dancemakers of the Asian "sub-continent." For even if Violette, who died September 24 at the age of 76, had surrendered the reigns of the theater he directed for nearly a quarter century (formerly the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, re-opened as a municipal theater in 1968 by Jean Mercure, with Violette as his second) to Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota in 2008, his ongoing presence at the storied palace on the Right Bank of the Seine -- at this spring's opening for Christian Rizzo, one of the choreographers he mentored, Violette could be seen holding court in the aisles, with his Kris Kringle as played by Edmund Gwynn beard making him resemble more the amiable patron of a brasserie than the most influential impresario of the European scene for the past 50 years -- was a gentle rebuke to the conformism that has reigned in Paris since his retirement. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Flash Flashback, 9-17: Excelsior!
Obscure mon oeil: La Scala gives a schooling in how to present a classic
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2002, 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading source for exclusive dance reviews from around the world, the Dance Insider has been revisiting its archives. This Flash was first published on January 16, 2002.)

PARIS -- "Excelsior!" Finally, a ballet company has demonstrated the proper way to present a classic work which on its face might seem to be out-of-date but whose historical merit is unquestioned. I've long said that there are two ways for a ballet chestnut -- or any classic, for that matter -- to justify itself to a modern audience. One is for the themes to be universal and still resonate, e.g. "Romeo and Juliet." The other, essential in a ballet whose story and sensibility might strain credibility with a modern audience -- "Giselle," for example -- is for the story to be danced and acted with absolute gusto and conviction by the performers. Think about it: If you go to see an old painting with an out-of-date subject at the Louvre or Met, you don't say, "Oh, that's just silly," because the colors and approach and subject are true to the time. "Excelsior," Luigi Manzotti's celebration of progress first performed in 1881 at La Scala, to music by Romualdo Marenco, was revived in 1967 by Ugo Dell'Ara, and is currently being given a thrilling resurrection by the dancers of La Scala Ballet in the company's debut at the Garnier Palace, from star Viviana Durante to every single corps dancer. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


"Alas, pour Yorick; where is your joking now?" To celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare, the Delacroix Museum -- located on an urban cul-de-sac in the former Saint-Germain des Pres hotel particular of the master of color idolized by a generation of Impressionists -- recently offered a rare exhibition of the original stone plates for a series of 16 lithographs Delacroix made of "Hamlet." After seeing the play at the nearby Odeon Theater in 1827, the year he illustrated the French translation of Goethe's "Faust," Delacroix decided to do the same for the Bard's existential classic. 13 lithographs were eventually published, in 1843. Above: Eugene Delacroix (1798- 1863), "Hamlet and Horatio in front of the grave-diggers (Act V, scene 1)." Lithographic stone, 1843. Paris, National Eugene Delacroix Museum, gift of the Society of Friends of the National Eugene Delacroix Museum, 2002, MD 2002-70. Copyright RMN-Grand Palais/R.G. Ojeda. Courtesy Museum National Eugene Delacroix.

The Buzz, 9-17: Faustian Bargain
Enabling Koch, Met Museum switches sides from the Lumieres to Obscurantism
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

The Metropolitan Museum of Art may not be the first New York City artistic institution to sell out to David Koch (thank you, Peter Martins and New York City Ballet), the oil magnate and "Tea Party" money-bags who's devoted part of his fortune to trying to derail efforts to save the planet and another part to supporting politicians who would dismantle the Labor movement and to contravening the will of the people with the might of the dollar, but it may be the most shameless, judging by Met director Thomas Campbell's declaration, in the museum's announcement of the opening this past week of its "David Koch Plaza" paid for by $65 million from the principal funder of anti-environmental phony science think tanks that, "Here now is a cityscape that is environmentally friendly...." To apply the term 'environmentally friendly' to an enterprise funded by the same man who tried to stop California from enacting mild greenhouse gas emissions limits is like describing Saudi Arabia as a paragon of Democracy. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Cendrine Rovini, "Devorante moi," 2012. Mixed media on paper, 65 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Da-End.


Arts Voyager Gallery, 9-15: Frame it Black
Shadow Dancing in Saint-Germain des Pres with Cendrine Rovini & Jean-Benoist Salle at Da-End
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- What if there were a gallery which achieved optic brilliance not with the crutch of 'new technology' (the Impressionists may have been influenced by the nascent science of photography, but they didn't replace their pinceaus with Kodachrome; not that this protects them being retro-binded with science, as witness the recent efforts of latter-day meteorologists to pinpoint the exact moment that Monet painted "Impression of the Sunset"), but by the simple device of setting the art against a luminous black background? (It's a hypothetical which might also be posed to the plethora of choreographers who resort to 'high-tech' devices to mask a low reserve of kinetic ideas which has left them creatively stalled. "Performance research" my eye, Jonah Bokaer.) In this current context, in which gadgets and gimmicks have been accorded equality with the painter's palette, I was quick to misapprehend -- on a recent Left Bank gallery gambol -- the black walls of the cavernous Da-End gallery on the rue Guenegaud for clever effect, an understandable snap judgment given a moniker more likely to evoke the '50s aesthetic of faux- hipster Brooklyn ("Da-End, man!" shrieks Brando's molle as he sweeps her off to Avalon on his Harley- Davidson) than the winding streets of storied Saint-Germain des Pres, the legitimate Dauphine of Noir since Juliette Greco, Miles Davis, Boris Vian and coterie first introduced it at the Club Tabou as the wardrobe of choice for orphans of the most somber of wars, and who, godfathered by Sartre and de Beauvoir, Camus and Cocteau, shaped this darkness into a berceau of beauty, temporarily aborted by Algeria, but persistently pushing like pissenlit through this fertile terrain, undeterred by the ruling ethic of "austerity. Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Following the Theatre National de Chaillot performances of his "Study #3" (above) in Paris December 5-12, William Forsythe will leave the Forsythe Ballet. Forsythe Ballet photo courtesy Theatre National de Chaillot.


The Buzz, 9-4: In the middle, somewhat over-rated
Emperor with no choreography William Forsythe to quit Forsythe Ballet
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- I admit that I liked the novelty and couldn't help being impressed with the angles -- even if the music was archaically '80s industrial -- as well as that the ensemble would provoke some die-hard balletomanes to flee the War Memorial Opera House. Who couldn't not be impressed with those long legs of Muriel Maffre, their span, as directed by William Forsythe for "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated," making the San Francisco Ballet principal a serious rival to the Golden Gate Bridge as the 8th wonder of the world? Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Jean Dubuffet, "Site domestique (au fusil espadon) avec tete d'Inca et petit fauteuil a droite," 1966. Vinyl on canvas, 125 x 200 cm. Fascicule XXI des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, ill. 217. Copyright Dubuffet and courtesy Galerie Jaeger Bucher / Jeanne-Bucher, Paris.


Arts Voyager Gallery, 9-4: How the Southwest (of France) was won by a Paris gallerist
Gajac Museum retrospect celebrates Saint-Germain des Pres's Jean-Francois Jaeger
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- Accessibility has become a dirty word, with its implication that to reach the masses, art must be dumbed down. (In the dance world, see under "Parsons, David," he of the feather-weight choreographies, or "Eilber, Janet," she who thinks the work of the Martha Graham Dance Company which she directs needs to be explained.) But truncate the word to "access," and you understand the collaboration that the municipality of Villeneuve-sur-Lot in Southwestern France -- a region better known for the fertility of its grapevines than the fecundity of its modern art scene -- and the legendary Saint-Germain des Pres gallerist Jean-Francois Jaeger of the Gallery Jeanne-Bucher have forged over the past 45 years, under which the anything but hic residents of this 'provincial' town have been able to experience the contemporary art revolution(s) of the '50s, '60s, and beyond contemporaneously with the putatively hip Parisian public. This complicity is being celebrated, through October 26, at the Musee de Gajac, a converted Villeneuve flour mill, in "A Passion for Art: Jean-Francois Jaeger and the Gallery Jeanne-Bucher," with work selected by the 90-year-old honoree which, true to form, prizes mystery over mediocrity and discovery over dilettantism. Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Before there was Nikolais, before there was Moses Pendleton, there was their compatriot Loie Fuller, whose whirlwind tours of light and body and gossamer dazzled fin de siecle Paris, including Henri Toulouse (French, 1864-1901), whose lithograph "Miss Loie Fuller" (composition: 14 3/8 x 10 5/8 inches; sheet: 14 15/16 x 11 1/8) is one of the more than 100 posters, lithographs, illustrated books, and printed ephemera on display at the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec, on view through March 22. Image courtesy Museum of Modern Art, from its General Print Fund.


The Buzz, 9-1: Quelle Gaspilage!
French president replaces cultural minister with commerce secretary, devaluing the country's cultural currency
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

ST.-CYPRIEN (Dordogne), France -- Lost amidst the hubub among the mediacracy (the Frenchman on the street doesn't even pay attention any more to the squabbles of the ruling Center-Left government and its Center-Right opposition, the former accused of betraying campaign promises, the latter of breaking campaign finance laws) over this past week's dissolution of French prime minister Emmanuel Vals's decreasingly Socialist government, which focused on the replacement of renegade economy minister Arnaud Montebourg by a wunderkind former Goldman-Sachs banker (the country's business association gave the Socialist prime minister a standing ovation when he appeared before them the morning after the appointment) was that, reflecting the apparent lack of seriousness with which Vals and president Francois Hollande regard the nation's cultural institutions and heritage, an under-qualified (if ultimately courageous, resigning to protest the government's increasingly pro-business policies) culture minister, Aurelie Filippetti, was supplanted by an even less credentialed politician, commerce official Fleur Pellerin, whose biggest qualification appears to be her loyalty to Hollande. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Charleston Journal, 9-1: Tales from the Crypt
Klingon opera, wooden worls, craniometrists, Mother Bates, and other gambols with death and darkness from Spoleto
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2014 Chris Dohse

CHARLESTON, South Carolina -- Garry Hynes's staging for Leos Janacek's "Katya Kabanova," seen June 6 at the Sottile Theater where it was being presented by the Spoleto Festival USA, has a spare, Ikea-like modern design: a blonde wooden safe deposit box, a Lutheran cross as solitary and elemental as a Jewish coffin (no nails or metals, slats fitted into slats). Mama-in-law villainess, a Cruella with glasses and wig like Mother Bates, all hips and housedress and walking stick. What a delight to play! The audience even boos and hisses her at the curtain call! Subscribers click here to read the full Dispatch. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Can't get to France this summer? Gothamites can still get a heady dose of Belle Epoque Paris from the 100 posters, lithographs, illustrated books, and printed ephemera being featured in the Museum of Modern Art's first exhibition in 30 years dedicated exclusively to Henri Toulouse -Lautrec (French, 1864-1901), including the Montmartre artist's portraits of the dancers Jane Avril and Loie Fuller. Above -- and a fitting eloge to last week's death of the great clown Robin Williams -- the artist's "La Clownesse au Moulin Rouge," from 1897. Lithograph, sheet: 15 7/8 x 12 11/16 inches (40.4 x 32.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1946. The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec continues through March 22 at MoMA.


The Buzz, 8-20: Paris on -10 cents per day
Down and Out in the City of Light
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- Dancers (well, maybe not French dancers, who receive eight months of unemployment benefits after working 11 hours per week over ten months with as many different companies as they like, but the rest of you), are used to making do with nothing. Dance journalists are doubly condemned to poverty. So it was that on Bastille Day, my discovery of a group of activists giving away (packaged) food recuperated from super-market garbage bins was less a reportorial boon than a welcome opportunity to pad my pantry. (Hemingway wrote "We were young and we were poor, but we were in Paris and we were happy." But Hemingway had the gumption to stuff a beefy Luxembourg Garden pigeon under his shirt and break its neck, and he had Hadley waiting at home to turn it into pigeon fricassee.) Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Charleston Journal, 8-20: Entrances and 'Exit's
At Spoleto, Maqoma brings the body Slave to the ante-bellum South
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2014 Chris Dohse

CHARLESTON, South Carolina -- Gregory Maqoma's "Exit/Exist," seen at the College of Charleston's Emmett Robinson Theater June 5 as part of the Spoleto Festival USA and coming to the Theatre de la Ville in Paris next March, is a diaspora story told in reverse. It begins with a suited 21st Century man facing a blank wall and traveling side to side within a sparely lit grid. Is he "getting down"? Enacted in a well-fitted suit, movement that might otherwise look like traditional Africanist stepping seems to reference James Brown's hepcat shimmy. Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see the Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)



Lucinda Childs Dance Company reprises the choreographer's 1979 "Dance," October 17 - 25 at the Theatre de la Ville - Sarah Bernhardt. Photo copyright Sally Cohn and courtesy Theatre de la Ville.


The Buzz, 7-31: How Fragile We Are
Understanding France's Intermittent (freelance performing artist) mess; Boycott Israel's Batsheva Dance Company; Graham, Resurrected in Paris; Taglioni still not buried where Paris says she is
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- The labor struggle of France's Intermittents -- or freelance performing artists and technicians -- and their intermittent strikes of the summer festivals of 2014 is a lot more messy than that of 2003: messily and acrimoniously executed, messily explained, messily handled by an inept culture minister in over her head who easily could have anticipated that the wound inflicted on the Intermittents in 2003 -- when the period during which they had to log 507 hours to qualify for unemployment benefits was reduced from 12 to 10 (artists) or 10 1/2 (technicians) months, and the ensuing benefits from a year to eight months -- had continued to fester, and that new unemployment rules approved in March (affecting 2 million workers, including 108,000 Intermittents) would make for another long, hot, summer if the government didn't treat the Intermittents' concerns. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)



Photograph of General Mischief Dance Company in "Reckless Abandon" copyright Eileen O'Donnell.


Copyright 2014 Nicholas Birns

NEW YORK -- After passing a recent sunny Saturday morning with friends and their young children in Central Park, heading downtown for a matinee dance concert by an experimental dance company seemed more than likely destined to break the mood of infectious cheeriness and heedless joy. Instead, General Mischief Dance Company's "Rascals With Altitude," seen May 3 at the Connelly Theater, gloriously reaffirmed that mood, providing entertainment that was both delightful and thought-provoking. Subscribers click here to read the full Flash Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Among the lots being auctioned off at Christie's New York's May 22 Sale of American Art are, above, Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), "Burlesque Queen," signed twice 'Marsh' (lower right). Oil on masonite, 16 x 20 inches. Painted circa 1948. Excecuted on July 19, 1967. Christie's pre-sale estimate: $60,000 - $80,000. Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2014. To read more about the auction, visit our sister magazine Art Investment News


Flash Flashback, 5-22: Climbing the Walls
In the steps of Piaf and Frehel, Courvoisier scales Belleville
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2009, 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- As is often the case in major cities, but seems to be more true here, last weekend (May 15 - 17) there were almost too many possibilities for distraction. I'd planned to terminate Saturday night with a tour of a few of the special events being offered as part of the annual Europe-wide, mostly free Night of the Museums. But a morning jaunt to lower Montmartre tired me out. By the time I climbed the hill to upper Bellevue, where I'm renting a flat a few blocks from the stairs where Piaf was born, I'd nixed the museum jaunt. Fortunately, there was plenty of art to be had in the 'hood, in the form of Bellevue's annual Open Studios taking place here and in another, adjoining Paris quarter rich with history, Menilmontant. Aside from the visual artists, one dancer-choreographer, Helene Courvoisier, managed to wedge herself into the programming, with performances of two related pieces in six different spots, with the uber-title (translated here) "The Walls of Nadja or Ghost's Skin," and the sub-titles "Apparitions I" and "Apparitions II." Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Teresa Silva in her "O que fica do que passa." Photograph courtesy Theatre de la Bastille and copyright Joana Patita.


Flash Dispatch, 5-21: Shedding Light
Dancing in the Dark, Talking in the Dance with Dias and Roriz, Silva, and Rizzo
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- For more than a dozen years, European choreographers have been trying to dance with words. Subscribers click here to read the full Dispatch. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Antonia Franceschi in a solo choreographed for her by Wayne McGregor. Laurie Lewis photo courtesy Antonia Franceschi.

NEW YORK -- Ironically, considering that the character Antonia Franceschi portrayed in the original "Fame" movie, the spoiled ballet student Hilary van Doren, in her big scene at the abortion clinic, tries to convince herself that she didn't want to dance for Balanchine anyway, the trajectory of Franceschi, whose "Kinderszenen" gets its New York premiere on Ballet NY April 15 - 17 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, began with 12 years at New York City Ballet, at which she worked with Balanchine and Robbins. "Balanchine taught me to go for it (that took awhile), that we were replaceable, and that he loved each and every one of us," she told the Dance Insider in an wide-ranging interview. Subscribers click here to read the full Dance Insider Interview and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the PayPal Subscribe button above.)


Among the lots on auction March 26 at Christie's Paris for its sale of Modern Works on Paper is "Woman drying herself," executed between 1895 and 1900 by Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917) in charcoal and sanguine on paper glued on its back to cardboard, and measuring 28 1/4 by 24 1/4 inches. Stamped "Degas" in the lower left corner (Lugt 657), the work is estimated by Christie's pre-sale at 250,000 - 350, 000 Euros, or $347,708 - $486,792. "Until now, the nude has always been depicted in poses that presume an audience," the artist explained in "I want to watch through the key-hole" (Paris, 1912). "But my women are simple, honest, concerned with nothing other than their physical occupations. Et voila another, washing her feet; it's as if you're looking at her through a keyhole." Copyright Christie's Images Limited 2014.


Flash Flashback, 3-14: Isadora's Children
Lynda Gaudreau Documents Modern Dance's Journey
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2000, 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS -- The remains of Isadora Duncan lay stored behind a 12" by 12" plaque, amidst a vast wall of urns, one of many walls in the columbarium at Pere Lachaise cemetary. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


For the first time in a major city outside their home country, the 45 dancers of the China Ningbo Performance & Arts Group (two of whom are featured above) come to Lincoln Center March 6-9 to present "The Red Dress," a dance-drama directed by Wang Xlaying and choreographed by Yim Mei. Set to music by Lan Tian, the story of loyalty, love, and tradition tracks the saga of a young couple whose much-delayed marriage swirls around the dream of a crimson bridal gown. Image courtesy KPM Associates.


Flash Flashback, 3-5: Symmetry Rules
Walzing in Time With City Ballet
By Tom Patrick
Copyright 2000, 2014 Tom Patrick

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, educators, and students and the leading source for reviews of dance, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on February 25, 2000.)

NEW YORK -- An observant and thoughtful dancer once quipped that she'd heard that a stubborn insistence on symmetry was the sign of a troubled mind. Food for thought, huh? In the golden decor of the State Theater Thursday, the New York City Ballet could be forgiven for giving us a larger dose of the mirror-image picture. It's just programmed that way. Um, I mean it was in the program set-up, not that they're programmed any more than the rest of us. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Find Donna Scro / Freespace Dance (above), the Royal Academy of Dance USA's Summer Programs for Students and Teachers, Ohio University Dance, Arizona State University Dance, and more on the Dance Insider Directory and Summer Study Guide. To find out about listing your school-year or summer study program on the Directory, e-mail us. Donna Scro photo by Lois Greenfield.


Flash Flashback, 2-5: Hi Everybody!
O'Connor's Grinning Biopsy of America
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2000, 2014 Chris Dohse

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, educators, and students and the leading English-language source for reviews of the European dance scene from France, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on April 10, 2000. For more by Chris Dohse, click here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

NEW YORK -- I ran into Aislinn MacMaster and Marta Miller, two dancer friends, on my way to Dance Theater Workshop Saturday night. When I told them I was going to see Tere O'Connor's "Hi Everybody!", Aislinn said, "Oh, I love Greg!" and Marta said, "No, I love Greg!" Well, step aside sisters, because now I love Greg. And Marc, and Chrysa, and Heather, and Rob, and Nancy -- the whole gang (Greg Zuccolo, Marc Kenison, Chrysa Parkinson, Rob Besserer, Heather Olson and Nancy Bannon). Their gorgeous performances fit O'Connor's material like six magical glass slippers, and pack a stunning, cumulative wallop like cotton candy dipped in acid. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Context is everything: To a Western audience inured to gender role reversal by Matthew Bourne's Queer "Swan Lake," there's nothing novel about Dada Masilo's adorning a few men in tutus for her South African spin on the Tchaikovsky classic, opening at Perigueux's Odyssey theater in southwest France January 23. A bit more daring in the "white" ballet universe may be that the corps de ballet is black -- it was only two generations ago that the Hispanic-American Evelyn Cisneros was welcomed to the corps at San Francisco Ballet by being ordered to douse her brown skin with pancake make-up. But from a country whose last president's AIDS-denial had mortal consequences for Masilo's compatriots, and a continent one of whose largest countries, Nigeria, last week criminalized assembly by gay rights groups, Masilo's tackling of homophobia and AIDs is courageous. Whether the socio-politics overpowers the art is another question. John Hogg photography courtesy the Odyssey Theater. Subscribers click here to see more images.(Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click the PayPal 'Subscribe' button above.)


Flash Flashback, 1-22: Fever Swamp
A Bill T. revival from Alvin A.
By Wendy Perron
Copyright 1999, 2014 Wendy Perron

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, educators, and students, The Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first transmitted to the Dance Insider's e-mail list on December 11, 1999.)

NEW YORK -- The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Friday at City Center revived Bill T. Jones's "Fever Swamp," which was originally made for it in 1983 as a celebration of brotherhood for six men. Neither fevered nor swampy, the piece may surprise those who think of Jones as an "issues" choreographer. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Photograph of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Boris Charmatz in De Keersmaeker's "Partita 2" copyright Anne Van Aerschot and courtesy Theatre de la Ville.

PARIS -- The house lights dim to half. The buzz of the opening night audience at the Theatre de la Ville - Sarah Bernhardt, the primary contemporary dance venue here, starts to die down when, very suddenly, the lights black out. Subscribers click here to read the full Review and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the PayPal Subscribe button above.)



Better known for his epic photographic and literary achievement "The North American Indian," a 20-volume collection (archived here) of (arranged) photogravures and text chronicling the various tribes, all captured on location, Edward S. Curtis, film-maker gets a rare screening December 12, when the Lyon-based Institut Lumiere presents "In the Land of the Head Hunters," Curtis's only work of cinema. A U.S./Canadian production released in 1914 and presented here in a restored copy, it focuses on the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) peoples of the Queen Charlotte Strait region of the Central Coast of British Columbia. A melange of documentary and fiction, "In the Land of the Head Hunters" (above) is regarded as the first film to feature an entire cast of real Indians, preceding "Nanook of the North" by eight years. Still image courtesy Institut Lumiere.


The School of Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, is hiring an Assistant Professor of Dance. Find out more and see more listings on the Dance Insider's Hot Classifieds section. To advertise your university, college, dance company or other job opening, or your next show, on the Dance Insider's Hot Classifieds section, e-mail Dance Insider publisher Paul Ben-Itzak. Above: Students at The School of Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.


Photograph of Leimay in "Becoming Corpus" copyright Harry Hanson and courtesy Leimay.

(In which our erstwhile New York editor and chief critic Flashes eight performances across two burroughs, two cities, and two states, including work from Jacqulyn Buglisi, Leimay, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Liz Gerring, Mark Dendy, Pick Up Performance Company/ies, Stanley Love, Donald Byrd, Maria Elena Anaya and Eclipses Flamenco, Li Chiao-Ping, Koosil-Ja, Alexandra Beller, Xavier Veilhan, and Eliane Radigue.)

NEW YORK -- As the 150 dancers of Jacqulyn Buglisi's "The Table Dance Project" surrounded the fountain on Lincoln Center Plaza on September 11, the sun shone bright and the sky was clear blue, not unlike on 9/11/2001. Subscribers click here to read the full Review and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the PayPal Subscribe button above.)


Morris Graves (1910-2001), "Spirit Bird," ca. 1956. Tempera on paper. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Gift of the William E. Scott Foundation. From the exhibition "Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy," on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth through January 12. The exhibition re-assembles, for the first time, works of art installed in President and Mrs. Kennedy's suite at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, where the president would spend his last night on earth on November 21, 1963, and give his last speech the following morning. Organized by then museum president Ruth Carter Stevenson and other local art collectors, the intimate personal exhibition also included work by Picasso, Thomas Eakins, Lyonel Feininger, Marsden Hartley, and Franz Kline.


In Memorium, 11-22-2013:
"November Twenty-Six, 1963"
By Wendell Berry
Copyright 1963 Wendell Berry

First published in The Nation on December 21, 1963, later as a book illustrated by Ben Shahn.

We know the winter earth upon the body of the young President, and the early dark falling;
we know the veins grown quiet in his temples and wrists, and his hands and eyes grown quiet;
we know his name written in the black capitals of his death, and the mourners standing in the rain, and the leaves falling....
Click here to read the full Poem.


New on our sister magazine Art Investment News: Paul Ben-Itzak discusses Balthus: Cats and Girls, Paintings and Provocations, running at the Metropolitan Museum through January 12. Above: Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski) (French, 1908-2001), "The Golden Days," 1944-1946. Oil on canvas, 58 1/4 x 78 3/8 in.. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966. Copyright Balthus. To read the full article and see more images, click here.


Continuing its Dance a la Cinematheque collaboration with the Ballet du Capitole, on November 19 the Cinematheque de Toulouse presents an homage to Rudolf Nureyev, who died 20 years ago. Longtime Nureyev collaborator and stager Patricia Ruanne, Frederick Jahn, and the Ballet's director Kader Belarbi, who danced for Nureyev at the Paris Opera Ballet, host screenings of Sonia Paramo's 2008 documentary "Rudolf Noureev, l'attraction celeste," featuring interviews with the star and leading lights in the worlds of letters, arts, politics, and sciences, and Ken Russell's 1977 "Valentino," in which Nureyev portrays the silent screen matinee idol. And from November 28 through December 1 at the Theatre du Capitole, the Ballet presents the mixed program "In the steps of Nureyev." Photo of Rudolf Nureyev (at right) in "Valentino" courtesy Collections de la Cinematheque de Toulouse.


Flash Flashback, 11-18: Is Ballet Irrelevant?
In Nureyev's "Raymonda," Yes
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2000, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, educators, and students and the leading English-language source for reviews of the European dance scene from France, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on October 20, 2000. Rudolf Nureyev, who died 20 years ago, will be feted tomorrow by the Cinematheque de Toulouse and the Ballet du Capitole in a double-bill at the program, presented among others by Ballet director Kader Belarbi, whose performance in Nureyev's staging of "Raymonda" is considered in this review.)

PARIS -- It isn't hard to understand why Rudolf Nureyev would want to totally denude Petipa's Orientalist ballet "Raymonda" of most of the Russian mime elements. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


While the national government may have failed Albert Camus in not planning any major events for today November 7, his 100th birthday, the dance world and the Theatre du Jeu de Paume in Aix-en-Provence -- the quaint provincal town that's also the literary repository of the great philosopher, playwright, journalist, novelist, and Resistance hero -- have not. Through November 9, in the cadre of Marseille-Provence 2013, European Cultural Capital, the theater presents the premiere of Emio Greco - Peter C. Scholten's "L'Etranger," based on Camus's signature novel of the same name, an examination of personal liberty, alienation, conformity and morality, set in French-ruled Algeria. In choreographic language and corporeal strife, Greco, incarnating the protagonist, explores dilemmas like body versus mind, personal modi operendi versus social codes, and to what degree we're subject to our own compulsions. Following its opening run in Aix, "L'Etranger," a co-production with the International Choreographic Arts Centre (ICKamsterdam) - Emio Greco I Pieter C. Scholten, Theatre de Liege, will be performed November 15 at the Maison des Arts in Thonon-les-Bains, February 11 at the Theatre de Liege in Belgium, and May 23 - 24 at the Theatre de Nice, CDN. Photo of Emio Greco in "L'Etranger" copyright Alwin Poiana and courtesy of the Theatre du Jeu de Paume.


Flash Flashback, 11-7: Occupation
Greco PC, on One Level
By Nancy Dalva
Copyright 2003, 2013 Nancy Dalva

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, educators, and students, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on May 5, 2003.)

NEW YORK -- "Double Points: One," half of the Emio Greco PC double bill at Dance Theater Workshop the weekend before last, opens in darkness. On the floor of the wide DTW stage, a narrow runway is sketched in slim lines of light. At the back, a man stands in silence, barely visible. He's wearing a gray chiffon whatsis -- maybe a dress, maybe a robe. He's bald, and sinewy. (When you can see him better, he looks like a Corsican pirate in drag.) He gestures with his arms, fitfully, and in the dark, your eyes play tricks. The light zings around, you get weird retinal flashes. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Coming soon on the Dance Insider & Arts Voyager: Running through January 12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Balthus: Cats and Girls -- Paintings and Provocations features 35 paintings (as well as the first-ever exhibition of 40 ink drawings from the book "Mitsou," written when he was 11 years old) from the artist whose landscapes, street scenes, and still lifes Albert Camus once described as works in which "the most ordinary reality can assume an unfamiliar remote air, the soft resonance, the muffled mystery of a lost paradise." Above: Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski) (French, 1908-2001), "The Cat of La Mediterranee," 1949. Oil on canvas, 50 x 72 7/8 in. Private collection Copyright Balthus. (Citation from "Balthus," Stanslas Klossowski de Rola, Harper & Row, New York, 1983.)


The Arts Voyager, 11-7: The case of Albert Camus, the Stranger who looks like us
A botched exhibition, and how the French government failed its leading thinker-activist of the last 100 years
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2012, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak (excepting exhibition scenario)

Albert Camus was born 100 years ago today, November 7, 1913, in Algeria. This article was first published last November on Art Investment News. In his 1957 speech accepting the Nobel Price, Camus said, "For myself, I cannot live without my art. But I have never placed it above everything.... It is a means of stirring the greatest number of people by offering them a privileged picture of common joys and sufferings. It obliges the artist not to keep himself apart; it subjects him to the most humble and the most universal truth. And often he who has chosen the fate of the artist because he felt himself to be different, soon realizes that he can maintain neither his art nor his difference unless he admits that he is like the others."

News item: Planned centennial exhibition, "Albert Camus, the stranger who looks like us," to be curated by scholar Benjamin Stora for Marseille - Provence Capital Cultural European 2013, cancelled by the committee for Marseille - Provence Capital Cultural European 2013. (Click here to read -- in French -- the preliminary scenario for the exposition conceived of by Benjamin Stora and Jean-Baptiste Jean-Baptiste Peretie, as initially approved by Catherine Camus, the author's daughter and rights-holder.)

The occasion was as opportune as the disappointing denouement was perhaps inevitable, given the tendency of the interested to alienate people on both sides of any given question with a point of view and approach that often defied any fixed ideology, bred from the melanged influences of ideas and experience, intellect and instinct, reflection and urgency. At the heart of the Mediterranean capital Marseille's campaign to win the European Union's coveted and potentially lucrative Cultural Capital of Europe designation for 2013 would be the man who not only embodies everything that is heroic about France, a champion of philosophy, letters, the theater, even -- as editor of the underground newspaper Combat -- the Resistance to the German Occupation, but who better than anybody embodies in one man the intricate, still conflicted mosaic that is France's relations with its former colonies, its own Mediterranean first man, Albert Camus. Click here to read the full Article.


What was unique about Edgar Degas's bronze studies of dancers and the 'petites rats' of the school of the Paris Opera Ballet was how he captured not only the form of the performers, but the way they used that form to carve space. Among the lots on sale at Christie's New York for its November 5 Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art is, above, Edgar Degas (1834-1917), "Grande arabesque, troisieme temps." Signed, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'Degas 60/E AA HEBRARD CIRE PERDUE' (Lugt 658; on the top of the base). Bronze with brown patina. Height: 17 3/8 in. (44.2 cm); Length: 21 3 /4 in. (55.2 cm). Original wax model executed circa 1885-1890; this bronze version cast at a later date in an edition numbered A to T, plus two casts reserved for the Degas heirs and the founder Hebrard marked HER.D and HER respectively. Christie's pre-sale estimate: $600,000 - $800,000. Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2013. To read more about the auction and see more images on our sister magazine Art Investment News, click here.


Flash Flashback, 11-5: Not-'Nut's for the New Millenium
Ballet to the Future with Eliot Feld
By Jennie Sussman
Copyright 1999, 2013 Jennie Sussman

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, educators, and students, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on December 29, 1999.)

NEW YORK -- Ballet Tech's Holiday "Notcracker" season is simply not the "Nutcracker." The traditional battles between toy soldiers and mice, the dancing sweets, and the dreamy journeys through the snow are replaced with unique works by Eliot Feld where down-home country clashes with the upcoming millenium. Even though the works were choreographed over two different decades, the contrasting themes within each piece seem to anticipate the turn-of-the-century, challenging our views of classical ballet. Beyond breaking barriers in the world of classical ballet- -by placing dancers in two different-colored ballet slippers, for instance--Feld has overcome urban obstacles by creating a strong program that recognizes and nurtures public school children with a special talent and passion for dance. Ballet Tech combines dance and academic training to give city children the chance to become professional ballet dancers. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Dancers know Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) for her stunning designs for the Ballets Russes. (Scroll down for an example.) But the impact of the collaborators chosen by the Diaghilev -- himself a former art magazine publisher -- went far beyond dance. On sale November 5 as part of Christie's New York's Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale, Goncharova's circa 1911 oil on canvas "Woodcutters," signed "Gontcharova" on the reverse side and measuring 38 3/8 x 40 3/8 inches (97.4 x 102.4 cm) is a revelation. Christie's pre-sale estimate: $6,000,000 - $8,000,000. Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2013. To read more about the auction and see more images on our sister magazine Art Investment News, click here.


Among the lots on sale at Christie's New York's October 28 sale of 19th Century European Art is, above, Eduardo Leon Garrido (Spanish, 1856-1906), "La farandole," signed 'E. L. Garrido' (lower left). Oil on panel, 36 x 28 1/4 in. (91.4 x 71.7 cm). Christie's pre-sale estimate: $70,000 - $100,000. Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2013. To read more about the auction and see more images on our sister magazine Art Investment News, click here.


Flash Flashback, 11-4: Andalucian Fireballs
Symphony Space Bursts with Flamenco Song
By Darrah Carr
Copyright 2000, 2013 Darrah Carr

(To celebrate 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, educators, and students, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on November 12, 2000. Darrah Carr Dance celebrates its 15th anniversary November 22-24 at the Irish Arts Center in New York, with guest choreographer Sean Curran. The book "ModERIN: Contemporary Irish Dance Works - Darrah Carr Dance" will be released opening night.)

Anger, defiance, strength, frustration, loss, longing -- an amazing range of emotions were expressed in the songs and dances of the Flamenco performers at Symphony Space Friday night. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Among the lots on sale at Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale in San Francico October 22 is, above, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), "La Danse des Faunes" (B. 830; M. 291), 1957. Lithograph in black and ochre on Arches paper, signed in red crayon and numbered 158/200 (there was also an unsigned edition of 1000), published for Le Patriote, Nice, with full margins, framed. 16 x 20 3/4 in.; sheet 19 3/4 x 26 in.. Bonhams pre-sale estimate. $7,000 - 9,000. Copyright 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of Bonhams. To read more about the auction and see more images on our sister magazine Art Investment News, click here.


Flash Flashback, 10-22: Picasso and the Dance
Jude, Hoyos & Bordeaux Revive an Era at Chatelet
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2003, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate 13 years as the leading English-language magazine covering the French dance scene, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on July 1, 2003.)

Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Fetching nearly double its pre-sale estimate of $1,500 - $2,000, a vintage album of 34 silver print photographs and photographic postcards of dancers associated with the Ballets Russes, including signed or inscribed photographs of Adeline Genee, Alicia Markova, Anton Dolin (above), Mary Honer, Lubov Tchernicheva, and Marie Rambert sold for $3,500 (with premium) in Bonham's auction of Fine Books and Manuscripts including Historical Photographs, October 16 in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Bonhams. To see more images on our sister magazine Art Investment News, click here.


The Dance Insider Interview, 10-18: Dame Ninette de Valois
"Diaghilev didn't dance, he didn't teach, he criticized"
By Maina Gielgud, A.O.
Copyright 2000, 2013 Maina Gielgud, A.O.

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary as the leading magazine for dance professionals, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on October 11, 2000. Maina Gielgud's lengthy resume includes serving as the artistic director of both the Australian and Royal Danish ballet companies.)

Subscribers click here to read the full Interview with Royal Ballet founder, Diaghilev dancer, and Cecchetti pupil Ninette de Valoir. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Find the Royal Academy of Dance USA's Summer Programs for Students and Teachers on the Dance Insider Directory and Summer Study Guide. To list your school-year or summer study program on the Directory for just $99 when you sign up by November 15 and receive a free Home page banner, e-mail us. Pictured: Alexandra Lomanto, photographed by Colleen Dishy.


Among the 378 lots on sale in Los Angeles October 16, at mostly moderate prices, in Bonhams auction of Fine Books and Manuscripts including Historical Photographs, is an album of 34 silver print photographs and photographic postcards of dancers associated with the Ballets Russes. Includes signed or inscribed photographs of Adeline Genee, Alicia Markova, Anton Dolin, Mary Honer (above), Lubov Tchernicheva, and Marie Rambert; a group of seven photographs of Margo Fonteyn, taken for Vogue; and a collection of early photographic postcards of Vera Fokina and Michel Fokine in various roles. Bonhams pre-sale estimate: $1,500 - $2,000. Courtesy of Bonhams. To see more on our sister magazine Art Investment News, click here.

Flash Flashback, 10-16: Fonteyn for Sale
Christie's Auctions a Ballerina's Legacy in Costumes
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2000, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary as the leading magazine for dance professionals, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on November 21, 2000.)

Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Among the lots on auction at Bonham's October 23 Impressionist and Modern Art sale is (above) Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova (Russian, 1881-1962)'s Costume design for Serge Lifar in "Sur le Borysthene." Signed with artist's initials 'N.G.' (upper left). Pencil, pen and black ink on paper, unframed. 20.5 x 27 cm (8 1/16 x 10 5/8 in.). Executed circa 1932. Estimate: $800 - $1,100. Courtesy of Bonhams. To see more from the auction, including the work of Goncharova's Ballets Russes colleague Alexandre Benois, on our sister site Art Investment News, click here.

Flash Flashback, 10-14: Building a Better 'Nutcracker'
Lustig and Brown Give ARB's Production a Facelift
By Christine Chen
Copyright 2000, 2013 Christine Chen

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary as the leading magazine for dance professionals, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives. This article was first published on November 27, 2000. American Repertory Ballet's 50th Annual "Nutcracker" season, featuring a restored production of Audree Estey's 1964 version including new choreography by Douglas Martin, runs November 23 through December 22 at venues across New Jersey. Christine Chen is currently managing director of American Repertory Ballet, and a guest contributor to the Dance Insider.)

Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


From the recent exhibition "The Secret Paris of the 1930s: Vintage Photographs by Brassai" at the William Benton Museum of Fine Arts of the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts: Brassai, "The ballerina Ludmilla Tcherina backstage, Sarah Bernhardt Theater." Gelatin silver print. Photographs in "The Secret Paris of the 1930s: Vintage Photographs by Brassai" copyright the Brassai Estate. All works are from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. This exhibition was organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions.

Robert L. Berry, (l) "Jazz Faces 2," and (r) "Chocolate Jazz." Copyright Robert L. Berry.


"I am already validated the moment I create a piece of art"
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

FORT WORTH, Texas -- While fixing the base of a painting as yellow may be an unusually bold choice, it's an appropriate one for a visual artist whose subject is a musical art which is also constantly re-creating its own distinct milieu: Jazz. But what makes Robert L. Berry and his JazzXpressionStudio unique in the landscape of local artists in this city whose promoters somewhat ambitiously refer to it as the capital of "Cowboys and Culture" is that his boldness is not confined to artistic choices, but extends to the business of art. After eight years of participating as a showcased artist in Arts Goggle, the business association Fort Worth South's twice-yearly art crawl, returning October 12, in which restaurant, office, and store owners feature work by local artists that ranges from the distinct to the daughter's, Berry decided to up the ante a year and a half ago and rent a street-level boutique space in a mid-sized office building on the district's marquee avenue, W. Magnolia, so that he could display and sell his work in the neighborhood year-round. Click here for the full Article and complete Gallery.


R&J, the resurrection: Douglas Martin's evening-length "Romeo and Juliet," to the Prokoviev score, premieres October 11 at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ, on American Repertory Ballet. "This extraordinary music and dance collaboration not only enhances the audience's experience of Prokofiev's extraordinary score," says Martin, "but also highlights the ephemeral interaction of dance and music." George Jones photo courtesy American Repertory Ballet.

Flash Review, 9-16: Cosmogenies
'Seasons' greetings from Romeo Castelucci
Par Pauline Testut
Copyright 2013 Pauline Testut

PARIS -- C'est en 2011 que Roberto Castellucci avait fait parler de lui avec la pièce "Sur le concept du visage du fils de Dieu," non seulement au sein de la communauté artistique mais aussi dans une dimension plus large. Cet évènement avait en effet coincidé avec l'affirmation publique d'un certain intégrisme catholique incarné en France par des mouvements tels Civitas ou Action française, que l'on a retrouvé ces derniers mois sur la scène médiatique lors du débat sur le mariage gay.Cliquez ici pour lire l'article. Subscribers click here to read the full Review in English. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


A scene from Lawrence Jordan's 1991 "Visible Compendium." Courtesy Anthology Film Archives.


Mash-ups with a method from Lawrence Jordan at Anthology
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

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Flash Flashback, 9-6: Taglioni's Shoe, Cornell's Box for Taglioni
Memory & Memorabilia
By Tobi Tobias
Copyright 2003, 2013 Tobi Tobias

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary as the leading literary magazine in dance, and our imminent return to Paris, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives from more than a decade as the leading English-language source of coverage of the French dance scene. To contribute to our campaign to return to France, please use the PayPal 'Subscribe' or 'Donate' buttons above. This article was first published on April 23, 2003, Marie Taglion 199th birthday, and is re-published today because it also covers Joseph Cornell's "Taglioni's Jewel Casket.")

Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see the Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Carlos Rodriguez. Jesus Vallinas photo courtesy Sadler's Wells.

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Promotional poster for Frank Henenlotter's "That's Sexploitation!" Image courtesy Something Weird Video and Anthology Film Archives.


Soft-core dreams & reel history at Anthology
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

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Keith Haring, "The Tree of Monkeys," 1984. Courtesy Orsi Foundation. Acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4 cm. Copyright Keith Haring Foundation.


Paris fetes Keith Haring
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

The monographic Keith Haring exhibition which closes this week-end at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris (it's also been running at the Centquatre), Keith Haring: the Political Line, singularly rescues the signature New York artist of the 1980s from play-land by deliberately placing and arraying the work -- in this case, nearly 250 oeuvres executed on canvas, tarpaulins, and even subway walls -- in the context of the political engagements that mattered to Haring, as the kid who arrived from Pennsylvania and Holly Golightly-like sketched penises in front of Tiffany's grew into and framed the increasingly harrowing world around him, addressing threats to the environment, Apartheid, racism, the spectre of nuclear war, homophobia, and the AIDS epidemic which would take his own life at the age of 31 in 1990. It's a needed reminder that the apparently fanciful expression, so often imitated since by a generation of gobbling Chelsea regurgitators, distilled a much more considered response to his times. Signifying Haring's particular attachment to the City of Light, in April Sotheby's in Paris, in conjunction with the Keith Haring Foundation, even auctioned off some of his work to help pay for the restoration of a mural Haring painted on a wall of the city's University Necker - Enfants Malades hospital. Subscribers click here for the full article and image gallery. (Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for just $29.95 using the PayPal 'Subscribe' button above.)


"The sweetest pussycats have the sharpest claws." Promotional poster for Russ Meyer's "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Courtesy Anthology Film Archives.


Exposed! Russ Meyer, Auteur
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

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Top: Ruth Asawa (b. 1926), printed by Clifford Smith. "Nude," 1965. Lithograph. Copyright 1965 Ruth Asawa. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.1965.210. Bottom: Ruth Asawa (b. 1926), printed by Jurgen Fischer. "Nasturtiums," 1965. Lithograph. Copyright 1965 Ruth Asawa. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas. 965.214.

Flash Flashback, 8-11: Arts voyager, generations
Ruth Asawa: From darkness into light
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2012, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

Ruth Asawa, a pinnacle of an artistic movement in California who became a pinnacle of the state's arts in education movement, died on Tuesday at the age of 87, after a long battle with lupus, in her San Francisco home. This story was originally published on August 14, 2012. Paul Ben-Itzak is a recipient of the Ruth Asawa Achievement Award, was one of the initial students in the Alvarado Arts Program co-founded by Asawa and other parents, and was also one of the first students in the San Francisco Center for Theater Training, the pilot program for what would become the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts.

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Ambra Senatore's "A Posto (En Place)." Photo copyright Viola Berlanda and courtesy Theatre de la Ville.


Devastating Deterioration from Senatore
By Philip W. Sandstrom
Copyright 2013 Philip W. Sandstrom

PARIS -- The simplicity of the opening was disarming and revealed my willingness to assume that three beautiful women moving in a vacuous manner on stage pre-saged a slow evening. Was I ever wrong. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the PayPal Subscribe button above.)


Anne Wiazemsky, Jean-Pierre Leaud, and Juliet Berto in Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 "La Chinoise." Image courtesy Anthology Film Archives.


At Anthology, a fashion designer unveils her cinema wardrobe
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

All of the films programmed by agnes b. at Anthology Film Archives over the next two weeks offer moments of grim hyper-reality or quiet suffering. And yet perhaps it took a fashion designer to choose films which, even as they make you reel with horror or perturb you with pathos -- as a lake is drained to reveal a naked couple entwined in a death embrace, a middle-aged woman serenely smiles as she makes her book collection her funeral pyre, a little boy poops himself to death, a woman on a beach spreads her arms crucifixion-like to embrace an inevitable stabbing, a revolutionary cradles the bloody head of a comrade who's just killed himself -- transfix you with their aching beauty. Subscribers click here for the full review with more images. (Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for just $29.95 using the PayPal 'Subscribe' button above.)


A scene from Leos Carax's 2012 "Holy Motors." Image courtesy Anthology Film Archives.


Road Trips that don't leave the city at Anthology Film Archives
By Paul Ben- Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

Leos Carax's 2012 "Holy Motors," which opens June 19 at Anthology Film Archives as part of its Auto-Cinema series running through June 25, is a tour-de-force of directing, writing, and acting on a level with Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" and Wim Wenders's "Wings of Desire" as a film which captures the angst of its time, a haunting gaze into the abyss which terminates with the narrowest of escape hatches. Subscribers click here for the full review with more images. (Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for just $29.95 using the PayPal 'Subscribe' button above.)


Among the treasures on sale at Christie's Amsterdam's May 29 sale of Impressionist and Modern Art is, above: Herman Bieling (1887-1964), "A dancing nude," signed and dated 'Bieling. '17' (lower right). Oil on canvas, 62.5 x 45 cm. Painted in 1917. Pre-sale estimate: 3,000-5,000 Euros ($3,886-$6,476). Copyright Christe's Images Ltd. 2013. For more gems from well- and lesser-known masters on auction, click here to read the article-gallery on our sister magazine Art Investment News.


If you want to look for where art is being made in Paris today, don't look in the hills of Montmartre but the heights of Belleville. And if you want to look inside the artists' studios, check the Portes Ouverte of the Artists of Belleville, taking place through Monday, May 27. Besides seeing recent work by living artists (including, top, Sarah Dugrip's "Liseuse" and, bottom, Catherine Olivier's "Parcour IV techniques mixtes," both on view in Olivier's atelier at 42 bis rue des Cascades), the promenade offers some of the most extraordinary views of the City of Light, including that of the Eiffel Tower from the parc Belleville. For more information on the Portes Ouverte and the artists of Belleville, click here. To see images of more work by Olivier, visit her web site or see our 2012 Arts Voyager Gallery, and by Dugrip, click here.


A scene from Ingmar Bergman's 1960 "The Virgin Spring." Image courtesy Anthology Film Archives.


Age-less Middle Ages at Anthology Film Archives
By Paul Ben- Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

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Before there was a C.M. Russell Museum in the city that cowboy artist Charles M. Russell (1864-1926) called home for so many years, the place in Great Falls, Montana to see work by the artist locals still refer to as "Charlie" was the Mint Saloon, whose owner Sid Willis, a close friend of Russell's, amassed a collection of oil paintings, watercolors, illustrated letters, and a rare set of wax models. When Willis sold the Mint Saloon and its Russells in 1945, his wish that the artworks remain in Montana was thwarted for lack of funds and they were bought by Amon Carter, later to form the basis, along with his Frederic Remington collection, of the Fort Worth museum that bears his name. The collection is now back in Great Falls through September 13 in the Russell's exhibition "I beat you to it": Charles Russell at the Mint, including, (bottom): "The Hold Up," 1899, oil on canvas, courtesy of The Petrie Collection, and (top) "Alaska or Bust" [Colonel Bell], n.d., watercolor, pen and ink on paper. C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana, gift of Charlie Russell Riders, in memory of Moose Dunne, Bud Ozmun, and Don Stewart.


Promotional poster for Delmer Daves's 1947 "The Red House." Image courtesy Anthology Film Archives.


An actor's director at Anthology Film Archives
By Paul Ben- Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEITH HARING, BORN MAY 5, 1958. For Keith Haring: the Political Line, running through August 18, the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris has gathered more than 250 works (20 more large scale pieces will be on view at Centquatre) that design the life of a signature artist who was not just proliferate but multiply engaged, with an exhibition parcourse divided into themes like the Individual versus the State, Capitalism, Public Art, Religion, Mass Media (Haring presciently warned of the danger of substituting technological 'reality' for human reality), Racism, Ecocide, and Sex, AIDS, and Death -- no mean feat, considering that so much of his work was public art, and cannot be moved. Just ignore exposition co-commissar Odile Burluraux's ludicrous claim that in the mid-'80s, Haring found a more sympathetic audience in Paris than New York; je hallucine! Why do French curators always seem to feel they need to justify programming American artists by implying they appreciate them more than we do? (And, it must be said, why couldn't such a mammoth exhibition have been mounted to celebrate two of their own, Albert Camus and Jacques Prevert, both of whose centennials this year merit hardly a murmur among France's cultural establishment? Perhaps because unlike Haring, Camus and Prevert's political art hits too close to home.) The reality is that only in a country like the U.S. could a young man from Bum F*** Pennsylvania have found such rapid acclamation in a world art capital like New York. Burluraux cites Jean Dubuffet as one of Haring's inspirations, but she doesn't mention that the French artist was barred in his lifetime from France's national museum of art (now the Pompidou). Paris and the artistic establishment laughed Paul Cezanne back to Provence -- and he didn't even paint on subways. -- PB-I . (Above: Keith Haring, "Untitled," 1982. Private collection. Vinyl paint on vinyl tarp, 304.8 x 304.8 cm. © Keith Haring Foundation.) Want more of Haring? Subscribers click here to see the artist's early work, "Drawing Penises in front of Tiffany's." Not a subscriber? Click the Paypal button above to subscribe for one year for $29.95.


Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), "Boulevard de Rochechouart," 1880. Pastel on beige wove paper, 23 9/16 x 28 15/16 inches. Copyright Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1996.5.


Impressionist Drawings & Prints at the Frick: Revising impressions of major artists
By Paul Ben- Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

The true delight of exhibitions like The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec: Drawings and Prints from the Clark, 58 drawings and prints on view at the Frick in New York through June 16, is that one gets to see work by the masters less frequently exposed than their oil paintings which expands and in some cases even revises our appreciation of their virtues. Subscribers click here for the full article with more images. (Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for just $29.95 using the PayPal 'Subscribe' button above.)

Cross Country / A Memoir of France
22: Le jour se leve
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

Portable houses & New Year's Eve in Saint-Germain des Pres

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Coming soon on the Arts Voyager: Because she was a woman and liked to paint domestic scenes, contemporary and subsequent critics often under-rated Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) by praising the 'soft,' 'feminine,' and 'gentle' qualities of her work, oblivious that the craft that went into depicting her subjects was as meticulous and often more sophisticated than her male Impressionist colleagues. But watercolors can sometimes reveal craft better than oil painting, which is all the more reason to be grateful for The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec: Drawings and Prints from the Clark, running through June 16 at the Frick in New York. Morisot's 1875 "Before a Yacht," an 8 1/8 x 10 9/16 inch watercolor over graphite on cream wove paper, highlights how she often worked with a minimal number of colors (here, green, black, and brown), using gradation to give the illusion of a full spectrum -- which makes for a much more unified canvas than a broader palette might have. Copyright Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1964.


Ballet Preljocaj dans "Ce que j'appelle l'oubli" d'Angelin Preljocaj. Photo copyright JC Carbonne.

PARIS -- Basé sur un fait divers à la fois sordide et extra-ordinaire, dans le sens premier du terme, la nouvelle chorégraphie d'Angelin Preljocaj, "Ce que j'appelle l'oubli," surprend d'abord par son parti pris : celui de la voix du jeune comédien Laurent Cazenave, narrateur à la voix puissante et monocorde qui va accompagner le mouvement des danseurs presque sans interruption, distillant progressivement un malaise grandissant, le choc, et puis la tristesse du texte magnifique et majeur tiré du livre de Laurent Mauvinier. Cliquez ici pour continuer en français. Or click here for an English translation of the article.


Flash Flashback, 4-23: Grave Matters
TAGLIONI'S NOT IN MONTMARTRE
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2004, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary as the leading online dance magazine and raise money for its return to Paris this Spring and Summer, the Arts Voyager and Dance Insider is revisiting its archives from more than a decade as the leading English-language source of coverage of the French dance scene. To contribute to our campaign to return to Paris, please use the PayPal 'Subscribe' or 'Donate' buttons above, or e-mail us if you have frequent flyer miles to donate or would like to send a check. This article was first published on October 6, 2004. Today is Marie Taglioni's 209th birthday.)

PARIS -- Officials at the Montmartre Cemetery this morning agreed to take Marie (also known as Maria) Taglioni's name off cemetery maps after an Italian Institute-Dance Insider conference revealed Taglioni, the first dancer to use pointe artistically, is not buried in the cemetery tomb which bears her name, but in the Pere Lachaise cemetery under the name of the ex-husband she divorced after he turned her away from their home because she wouldn't stop dancing. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


'Out-takes' of films shot by Jonas Mekas so closely resemble masterpieces from anyone else, that the first part of the title of Mekas's 2012 video, "Out-takes from the Life of a Happy Man," receiving its U.S. theatrical premiere April 25 - May 2 at Anthology Film Archives, might be misleading for anyone unfamiliar with Mekas's oeuvre. I once stood in front of a passage of industrial England painted by Camille Pissarro during his exile from France. In its unfiltered original, the subject could not have been more bleak, but Impressionist painting is less about the subject than the point of view of the artist, and the tools he deploys to convey that feeling to his audience. So I could quote to you snippets from this latest Mekas marvel: a flamenco dancer in Central Park (the setting for many of the moments recalled here), a girl trudging through the snow outside a fence in knee-high boots, a couple carrying the largest toilet in the world across a busy Manhattan street.... but the magic is in the selection and the decoupage, the splicing and the prism, not the putative subject: "Just fragments of this world, my world, which is not so different from any other, anybody else's world," Mekas says in one of the leitmotifs of a poetic and occasional narration whose sing-song rhythm (enhanced by the euphoric melancholy of Auguste Varkalis's piano improvisations) matches the cadence of the images. Then a Fifth Avenue street magician appears, as if on cue, and we understand who the real wizard is. (Image from "Out-takes from the Life of a Happy Man" copyright 2012 Jonas Mekas and courtesy Anthology Film Archives.)


Pablo Picasso, "Femme assise dans un fauteuil (Eva)" (Woman in an Armchair), 1913. Oil on canvas, 59 x 39 1/8 in. (148 x 99 cm). Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection. Copyright 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


From Lauder, a trove of Cubist Masterpieces for the Met; Le Corbusier at MoMA
By Paul Ben- Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

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With Corot hard to locate between the collections of the Louvre and the Orsay, and Delacroix not safe at the Louvre-Lens (see news items below), this might be a good time to buy work by these masters for yourself -- especially when Christie's has them available for a relative song this month. On auction in New York April 29 (left): Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), "Paysage aux bouleaux argentes." Oil on canvas, 10 1/4 x 7 in.. Painted circa 1860-65. Pre-sale estimate: $50,000 - $70,000. And at Chrisitie's Paris April 10 (right): Ferdinand-Victor-Eugene Delacroix (Saint Maurice 1798-1863 Paris), "Jeune femme nue debout." Plume and brown ink, filigrane 'J Berger.' 385 x 218 mm. Pre-sale estimate: 6,000 - 8,000 Euros $7,679 - $10,238. Both images copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2013.


New director at the Louvre; battle over a Signac; bring me the head of (Courbet's) 'Creation of the World' (just don't try showing her naked body on Facebook); Delacroix defaced; where's Corot?; where to buy Delacroix, Corot, Laurencin, Sisley, Millet & more for peanuts
By Paul Ben- Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

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Left: József Faragó, a cover page design for the album "Farago's Review," 1898. 1907-320. Paper, ink, pen. 411 x 317 mm. Owner: Hungarian National Gallery. Right: József Faragó, "Our Country's Greats in Paris, 1900." Farago 1902-51. Paper, ink, pen. 324 x 249 mm. Owner: Hungarian National Gallery.


How József Faragó Expanded Honore Daumiér Beyond the Frame
By Paul Ben- Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

One risk of the Franco-centrism of most of the world's international-caliber museums of classic art (by classic I mean before 1950) is that the indigenous culture often gets short shrift, even when it compliments the French masters as sources of inspiration and emulation for the local talent. In Hungary -- which has a rich culture too often over-looked by the global curatorial brain- trust -- the recently reunited Budapest Museum of Fine Arts and Hungarian National Gallery have neatly addressed this lapse by mounting, as their first collaboration since the merger, complimentary exhibitions on Honore Daumiér (1808-1879), the pioneering French caricaturist, and József Faragó (1866-1906), who succeeded Daumier chronologically but just may have exceeded him artistically, creating work that, while topical, can stand on its own as art whether or not one knows the historical context and even if one doesn't speak the language. Subscribers click here for the full article with more images. (Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for just $29.95 using the PayPal 'Subscribe' button above.)

Cross Country / A Memoir of France
21: ... in which the Old Boy Network Finally Pays Off -- with a New Paris Gal Pal
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

Old Nassau on the Right Bank

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Montmartre disparu qui me manque toujours: Among the treasures available at two photography sales chez Christie's New York this week is Brassai (1899-1984)'s "Le Bal des Quatre Saisons, rue de Lappe, Paris," c. 1932. For more images of the stunning vintage photographs on auction, visit our sister publication Art Investment News. Above photo gelatin silver print, printed in the 1960s. Signed in pencil, annotated 'Pl.22' in ink and Faubourg-St.-Jacques copyright credit stamp (on the verso). Image/sheet: 9 1/4 x 11 7/8in. (24 x 30.7cm). Pre-sale estimate: $6,000 - $8,000. Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2013.


Flash Flashback, 4-3: My Dinner with Billy
Prix Fixe with Forsythe and the Paris Opera Ballet
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2000, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary and raise money for its return to Paris this Spring, the Dance Insider is revisiting its archives from more than a decade as the leading English-language source of coverage of the French dance scene. This article, first published on November 3, 2000, is yours for free when you subscribe to the Dance Insider for just $29.95/year, as is access to our entire archives. Help ensure more coverage of the French dance scene by subscribing or donating today, using the PayPal buttons above, or e-mail us if you'd prefer to send a check.)

PARIS -- In American companies, the ballets of William Forsythe hold a funny place. They're the "wierd" ballets that instantly give a classical ballet company street cred among the moderns, the young set, and even the intellectuals. They usually appear on a program called "Contemporary Series" or "New Generations." In such a context -- even when surrounded by other "contemporary" work -- their effect can be startling: Forsythe makes ballets that might be called neo-neo-classical, their relation to the rest of the scene being, I imagine, much like what Balanchine's was in his time to that scene, particularly in the 1950s of "Agon." But as much as "neo-classical" is the easiest category in which to place Balanchine, his palette was wide. It's long since been proved that an evening of Balanchine ballets not only won't repeat itself, it is likely to range from neo-classical to classical to clever and, on occasion, even include a stinker. Apropros my evening with Billy and the verve-alicious dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet last night at the Palais Garnier, where an all-Forsythe program was served up, the question uppermost in my mind was: Could Forsythe sustain interest for an entire evening? Or would what seems startling on a program of other less daring ballets seem rote by the end of the evening? And how would the dancers survive a whole night of having their limbs pulled and dipped in such arch ways -- and on an incline, no less, dancing as they were on the Palais Garnier's raked stage? Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Among the treasures available at two photograph sales at Christie's New York next week is Brassai (1899-1984)'s "La Cage aux fauves aux Folies Bergere," c. 1932, a unique inside view of the Paris performance palace made famous by the American dancers Josephine Baker and Loie Fuller. For more images of the stunning vintage photographs available -- many evoking the City of Light -- visit our sister publication Art Investment News. Above image from a gelatin silver print signed, annotated 'Pl.711, page 147' in pencil/ink, title, date, annotations by Mme Gilberte Brassai in pencil and Faubourg-St.-Jacques credit stamp (on the verso). Image/sheet: 9 1/2 x 7 1/8 in. (24 x 18.6 cm). Pre-sale estimate: $12,000 - $18,000. Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2013.


Flash Flashback, 3-28: Who Can I Run to?
Out in the Cold with Josephine Baker in the Valley of the Dordogne
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2004, 2006, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the Dance Insider has been revisiting its archives. Since 2000, the Dance Insider has been the leading English-language source of coverage of the French dance scene. This article was first published on September 3, 2004.)

CASTELNAUD-LA-CHAPELLE, Valley of the Dordogne, France -- She could be any homeless person, a bespectacled middle-aged woman, her hair covered unflatteringly in a scarf, a blanket pulled over her lap and plastic water bottles surrounding her bare feet as she camps on the doorstep of the home of 22 years from which she's just been evicted and locked out. But she is not just any homeless woman, and not just any woman. She's the woman Hemingway once called the most beautiful in the world. She is Josephine Baker, one-time star of the Folies Bergere, child of St. Louis who went on to become hero of the Resistance, black performer who refused to play segregated halls when she returned to her native land, American darling of 1920s France sometimes credited as the inventor of the Charleston and inspirer of Le Jazz Hot, mother to 12 adopted children -- a legend, unceremoniously dumped on the back porch like a piece of meat past its prime, poignantly pleading to a reporter, "I won't leave my home." Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)



Aida Vainieri in Pina Bausch's 1985 "Two Cigarettes." Photo copyright Jochen Viehoff and courtesy Sadler's Wells.

LONDON -- There's a claustrophobic feel to the bright, cell-like setting of Pina Bausch's 1985 "Two Cigarettes in the Dark," seen February 17 at Sadler's Wells on Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. The white walls, intersected by a back window looking out on a garden and an aquarium partially visible through a window cut into the wall at downstage left, suggest the privileged habitat of people who turn out to behave as if they are imprisoned by their wealth -- a Los Angeles mansion perhaps, or a museum to exhibit the bored, empty and dysfunctional couples and individuals within. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the PayPal Subscribe button above.)


Promotional posters for (left) Robert Mulligan's "Baby the Rain Must Fall" and (right) Jacques Tourneur's "Witchita." Images courtesy Anthology Film Archives.

Flash Festival Review, 3-21: Redemption Songs
'Expressive Esoterica' from Sarris and Anthology
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

If the concept of 'cinema d'auteur' was first championed by Cahiers du Cinema (whose leading scribes Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut were themselves budding auteurs), it was given nuance by the long-time Village Voice critic Andrew Sarris, broken down in his classic 1968 opus "American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968" into categories like "Less Than Meets the Eye," "Pantheon Directors," "The Far Side of Paradise," and "Expressive Esoterica." This last trove -- into which Anthology Film Archives has dipped for its festival honoring Sarris (who died in June) which continues through March 31 -- the critic defined as "the unsung directors with difficult styles or unfashionable genres or both," whose "deeper virtues are often obscured by irritating idiosyncrasies on the surface, but they are generally redeemed by their seriousness and grace." But a great critic's choices don't just reflect taste and curatorial flare. The brilliance of Anthology's series, curated in collaboration with C. Mason Wells, is that the films selected also reveal the critic as philosopher, advancing the very American idea that no one is beyond redemption. (And its inverse: That even heroes can fail ignobly.) Subscribers click here to read the full Review and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)



American Repertory Ballet in Douglas Martin's "Rite of Spring." Photo by Peter C. Cook.

Flash View, 3-13: Revisiting 'Rite'... and Rights
100 years after 'Le Sacre' exploded conventions, conventional women's roles persist
By Christine Chen
Copyright 2013 Christine Chen

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Last Sunday, we set the clocks forward. It was the first "spring rite" I performed this year (and it feels oddly premature given it was snowing the day before in New York). Other spring rites which I'll need to address soon include spring cleaning, spring training (for a half marathon my husband signed us up for), and of course, the spring season for American Repertory Ballet, of which I'm managing director. This last rite's 'Rite' -- artistic director Douglas Martin's new 'Rite of Spring,' which I'll write about here -- is all about rights. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


Flash Flashback, 3-13: No Sacrifice
Paris Opera Ballet gets Down to Earth for Bausch's "Sacre du Printemps"
(When Will New York Ballet Companies Stop Pretending Mats Ek, Maguy Marin, and Pina Bausch Never Happened?)
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2002, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the Dance Insider has been revisiting its archives. For 10 of those years, the DI was published from Paris and was the leading source of English-language reviews of the French dance scene. This review was first published on May 21, 2002.)

PARIS -- I've never seen anything like what I saw Friday at the Garnier, when Pina Bausch's 1975 take on Igor Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" was channelled by the Paris Opera Ballet, the only company besides her own that Bausch has allowed to perform the work. Her confidence was not misplaced. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)



Van Cliburn, conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and the Fort Worth Symphony. Photo by and copyright Ellen Appel and courtesy Fort Worth Symphony.

Flash Flashback, 3-5: What is America to Me?
Van Cliburn and the Fort Worth Symphony rise to the occasion
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2011, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(Van Cliburn died Wednesday in Fort Worth, at the age of 78. after a six-month battle with skin cancer. This article was first published on September 2, 2011.)

FORT WORTH, Texas -- In the 10 years since the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, Uncle Sam's shoulders have often seemed to slump from the competing weights of terrorism that menaced the nation's security and responses that took the lives of innocents and threatened the sanctity of Americans' own Constitutional rights. Thus my own initial response to a mini-festival called Celebrate America was less than enthusiastic. But this was a gross misapprehension of the event as planned and executed last weekend by the Fort Worth Symphony, as lead by music director and conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya and, for Saturday's performance at Bass Hall, hoisted upon the sturdy shoulders of one of the country's most celebrated bearers of non-military victories in international relations of the 20th century. And Van Cliburn was perfectly cast in the title role in Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)



Calder at the Circus: One of a set of seven drawings on auction at Christie's New York's First Open Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art March 8. For more, see our sister publication Art Investment News. Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Untitled (Studies of Figures in Movement). Drawn in 1925. Pencil on paper, 19 1/2 x 14 in. (49.5 x 35.6 cm). Pre-sale estimate: $30,000 - $50,000. Image copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2013.


A downtown dance diva at a legendary downtown dance club, captured by Keith Haring: Christie's New York is billing its March 8 First Open Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art as, among other things, an opportunity to explore lesser-known works by established artists, and the above definitely qualifies. For more, see our sister publication Art Investment News. Keith Haring (1958-1990), "Grace Jones at Paradise Garage," gouache on paper. 23 3/8 x 37 1.4 in. (59.4 x 94.6 cm). Painted in 1986. Estimate: $80,000 - 120,000 U.S. dollars. Image ̩̉Christie's Images Ltd. 2012.)

For years a sleepy institution, the ballet of Toulouse's Theatre du Capitole has taken on a new dynamism under rookie dance director Kader Belarbi, the former long -time principal with the Paris Opera Ballet, part of which is a new collaboration with the Cinematheque de Toulouse, long the most original and innovative cinematheque in France. The two institutions have combined to present a season-long series of dance evenings, most hosted by Belarbi. Luke Cresswell's 1997 "Stomp out Loud" (above), shown February 19, will be followed March 26 by a baroque dance themed evening, May 12 by Vincente Minelli's 1948 "The Pirate," and June 28 by Charlie Chaplin's 1928 "The Circus." Meanwhile, the cinematheque's festival Japan in the '50s: The Golden Age continues through February 28. Images courtesy Cinematheque de Toulouse.

Featuring over 200 works of various media -- painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, drawings, and graphic design, as well as video and documentary film -- Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde, which closes February 25 at the Museum of Modern Art, looks at a fructive and turbulent era in the Japanese scene. Above: Ay-O, "Pastoral (Den'en)," 1956. Oil on panel, 72 1/16" x 12' 1 13/16" (183 x 370.4 cm). Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. ̩̉ Ay- O, courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

Flash Festival Review, 2-21: Turning Japanese
Radical Japanese film of the 1960s & '70s @ Anthology
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

If you think Butoh is the excruciatingly slow (or delectably languorous, depending on your point of view) dance interpreted by performers doused in flour that its Western acolytes have laid claim to with Zen-like fervor and wonder why this post-Hiroshima and Nagasaki artform was once called the 'dance of darkness,' Donald Richie's 1959 "Sacrifice / Gisei," being screened Sunday February 24 at Anthology Film Archives as part of its mini-festival of Film Experiments in 1960-70s Japan (meant to coincide with the Museum of Modern Art's Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde exhibition closing Monday), will set you straight. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

The Buzz, 2-20: Can-can attitude, can-do arabesque
La Goulue lifted her dress, La Taglioni her pointes, and both lifted women's rights
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

If French women didn't get the right to vote until after World War II, this doesn't mean they placidly accepted male dominance. Agnes Giard, who writes the 400 Culs column for the French daily Liberation, notes a parallel between contemporary women who protest by mooning and the 19th century can-can dancers who made the reputation of the Moulin Rouge. Subscribers click here to read the full Column. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Very top: Pierre Vidal, "Couverture pour 'La vie a Montmartre," 1897. Lithograph, 20 x 27.5 cm. Private collection copyright DR. Bottom, Left: Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, "Affiche de la tourn̮̩e du Chat Noir." Lithograph, 58.5 x 79 cm. Collection musee de Montmartre copyright DR. Top Right: Anonymous, "Au premier Chat Noir," avant 1885. Tirage photographic, 17.7 x 23.6 cm. Collection musee de Montmartre copyright DR. Bottom Right: Exterior view of the atelier of Suzanne Valadon, Musee de Montmartre. Copyright Guillaume Lachaud.

Arts Voyager Gallery, 2-17: Patrimoine
A revitalized Musee de Montmartre revives le Chat Noir
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

What sets Paris apart from any other art capitol in the world is that it is not just a city of museums, it is one, both a showcase for art and the place where that art was created. . Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above. Just want this article? Donate $5 using the PayPal Donate button above and we'll send it to you.)

Top (currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art): Pablo Picasso, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," 1907. Oil on canvas, 8' x 7' 8" (243.9 x 233.7 cm). Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. ̩̉ 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Bottom: The Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre, where Picasso created the work.

Call for Artists, 2-17: Revivifying a Monument
The Bateau-Lavoir is looking for a new visage
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

Lest you think that the Musee de Montmartre, under its new stewards the Kleber Rossillon Group, is only concerned with glorifying artists of the past, as its first exhibition, on the Chat Noir, does, the museum has also organized a competition to revivify the neighborhood's other storied cradle of art in a way that encourages living artists: The concourse to design a new vitrine for the Bateau-Lavoir -- best known as the place where Picasso and Braque essentially invented Cubism -- invites scenographers, designers, graphistes and sculptors to submit their proposals (by March 1!) to re-make the storefront (which for years has contained just a spare, lightly illustrated recounting of the site's history) that is the only remnant of the original building. Click here to read the full article.


Top: Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848-1894), "Paris Street; Rainy Day," 1877. Oil on canvas, 83 1/2 x 108 3/4 in. (212.2 x 276.2 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection. Bottom, left: Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848- 1894), "At the Caf̮̩," 1880. Oil on canvas, 60 1/4 x 44 15/16 in. (153 x 114 cm). Mus̮̩e d'Orsay, Paris. On deposit at the Mus̮̩e des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. Bottom, right: Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836-1904), "Edouard Manet," 1867. Oil on canvas, 46 5/16 x 35 7/16 in. (117.5 x 90 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Stickney Fund.

Arts Voyager Gallery, 2-12: Fashionistas
'Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity' at the Met: Ignore the conceit, go for the art
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

If context illuminates in Cezanne and the Past, on view at the Budapest Fine Art Museum through February 17, for Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art February 26 and running through May 26, it threatens to obscure (at least if one is to judge by the press release). Co-curated by the Art Institute of Chicago and the Mus̮̩e d'Orsay, the exhibition's thematic presentation seems to super-impose a subject-driven mode of operation which was never the Impressionists' primary concern. Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above. Just want this article? Donate $5 using the PayPal Donate button above and we'll send it to you.)

Tumultuous Times: 12 years of dance in Europe
Charming Babilee Can't Save New Nadj
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2003, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(For more than 12 years, the Dance Insider has been the leading English-language source for reviews of the European dance scene. Help the Dance Insider return to Paris and increase its coverage of European dance by finding us investors. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, e-mail publisher Paul Ben-Itzak. This Flash Review was first published on November 5, 2003. To see a panoplay of images from Jean Babilee's 70-year career, recently published on Le Monde, click here.)

PARIS -- The landmark Spring 2001 France Moves festival, which introduced New York audiences to or re-acquainted them with several leading French dance companies, also introduced the choreographer Josef Nadj to Jean Babilee, in town for a screening of "Le Mystere Babilee.". Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Top: Edouard Manet (Paris, 1832- Paris, 1883) "Picnic in a Wood," n. d.. Black chalk, partly reinforced with pen and black ink, with green, blue,brown and black watercolor on paper, 478 x 317 mm. Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology University of Oxford, Oxford, inv. no. WA1980.83. Mathey 35 B. Bottom: Paul C̮̩zanne, (Aix-en-Provence, 1839- 1906, Aix-en-Provence), "Bathers," 1899-1904. Oil on canvas, 51.3 x 61.7 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago, Amy McCormick Memorial Collection, Chicago, inv. no. 1942.457. RP 859. For more on these two tableaux and the relationship between Manet and Cezanne, see below and follow the link to our complete article and gallery.

Arts Voyager Gallery, 2-7: Back to the Future
Cezanne in Budapest: Even the 'father of us all' had parents
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above. Just want this article? Donate $5 using the PayPal Donate button above and we'll send it to you.)

L'enfant sauvage: Kelyna Lecompte in Valerie Massadian's "Nana." Photo: Valerie Massadian.

Flash Film & Livestock show Review, 1-25: Let there be blood
Cinema verite in French "Nana"; Grand illusions at the Fort Worth Rodeo & Livestock Show
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

I still don't know which shocked me more: The wild boar hanging upside down with its purple blood dripping onto the concrete floor in front of the butcher's stall, or that I was the only person in the busy indoor Marche St. Quentin in Paris's cosmopolitan 10th arrondissement that early Saturday morning who seemed to notice it. Years later, checking out the annual animal fair in the rural southwestern village of Le Bugue, I may have also been the only person who thought the donkeys behind a rope looked depressed, no doubt at the prospect that they might be destined to finish as donkey salami. (Smells like dung, tastes delectable, but you have to get the kind that's mixed with pork; the Savoyard is best.) Comparing the livestock component of the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (the oldest indoor rodeo in the world) with Valerie Massadian's 2011 "Nana," the French film which opens January 25 at New York's Anthology Film Archives, I think I understand better my typically American reaction to the sanguine sanglier, and the solution: Subscribers click here to read the full Review and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)


In Memorium, 1-16: Rebecca Jung
Sweet Paradise: a Personal Recollection
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

(Author's note: I only recently learned of the death of the veteran Pilobolus dancer Rebecca Jung from gastric cancer, at the age of 46. The following is a memory of Becky, and of our relationship.)

We were on a beach in Ocean City, Maryland, where Becky's mother -- who had just published a book on Frederick Law Olmstead, the conceiver of Central Park and so many other landmarks of the American passage -- had a condo overlooking the Atlantic. Becky was recovering from Pilobolus's relentless July season at the Joyce, a month-long crucible of the kind of rigorous, athletic, physically taxing and, at times, emotionally draining dances the company had been famous for since it was founded in 1971 by three smart-aleck jocks who stumbled into a Dartmouth dance class, soon joined by their teacher. It was the summer of 1997, and after seven years with the company, at the age of 32, Becky was burned out, a crash accelerated by having to teach the dances to the three of the company's six performers who were new. Because here's the thing about those dances: What elevated them from mere gymnastics and made the physical science and brainy concepts of the directors into art -- besides the choreographic rigor that that Dartmouth dance teacher, Alison Chase, had instilled in the boys when she joined the company -- was not just the agility but the versatility of the dancers chosen by Chase, Robby Barnett, Michael Tracy, and Jonathan Wolken to execute their vision, particularly the women, typically two to the four men. They not only had to be strong, elegant, and eloquent, comedic as well as tragic, but musical and lyrical. And the feats of balance required weren't merely physical; they also had to be able to find and make equilibrium from the sometimes competing visions of the four directors. Tracy might choreographic a sequence, the dancers spend days working over it and refining it, only to have Wolken come in and throw it out, pulling seniority on Tracy. (The directors were even in therapy, Becky had told me. They got a grant for it.) As the dance captain, Becky had to insulate her colleagues, as much as possible, from that anarchy.

So it's understandable why that August at Ocean City, Becky slept a lot. And that she'd be annoyed when a couple of teenage boys kicking a soccer ball around kept hitting us. But when I warned them, half-kiddingly, "You better watch out, she's a dancer," meaning that she might use those strong legs to kick them, the boys just snickered, Becky upbraided me: "You have to understand that in most parts of the country, when you say 'dancer,' they think 'stripper.'" Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Alexandra Lematre in Bruno Dumont's "Hors Satan." Photo courtesy New Yorker Films.

Flash Review, 1-16: Les Fleurs du Mal
Fallen Angels, Resurrected "Hors Satan"
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

I watched Bruno Dumont's 2011 "Hors Satan" (which could be translated as "Out of Satan" or "Outside of Satan"; personally, I like "Satan Outside of the Box"), opening Friday at New York's Anthology Film Archives, after viewing new episodes on American television of the Good Wife and the Mentalist, and the episode of M*A*S*H* in which an injured bomber pilot claiming to be "Jesus Christ" gets sent home because, after all, what would Jesus be doing in a war zone? These days, He'd probably be way too busy to intervene in the petite accablements of a young woman (Alexandra Lematre) living with her mother and abusive step-father near a terrain vague outside Boulogne-sur-Mer and fending off the unwanted attentions of a forest guard in the gothically austere Nord Pas de Calais region of France. So (spoiler alert), the task is left to an itinerant drifter (David Dewaele) who shoots the step-father with a rifle hidden in a windmill, beats the guard to a pulp, and who (if we take the story literally), judging by the way he resurrects the girl (identified as just 'the Girl' in the credits) at the end of the film, may in fact be the fallen angel, re-descending to Earth in search of redemption. Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Flash Guide, 1-14: Inside Presenting
From the cradle to the grave, 10 new ways to build your audience (from the experts)
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

The Dance Insider is celebrating 15 years as the leading magazine for dance professionals, teachers, and serious students, publishing 100% original content that can't be found anywhere else. First published in the DI's debut print issue of Summer 1998, this story is published online today for the first time.

"If what I'm saying about my art is that it is a metaphorical rumination on society, then I should be out in it."

-- Bill T. Jones.

After months of practicing with the basketballs, the stars were being recognized for their hard work. Their fans mobbed them for autographs. The scene was the New Victory Theater on Broadway, where Peter Pucci Plus dancers had just premiered "Basketball Jones." Like a corps de ballet of women which metamorphosizes into swans, the eight basketball-wielding performers had become an extra-human species. Magic had taken place. Pucci, performing as part of the theater's Family Series, had also revealed a practical truth: If you build an outreach program, they may come, but if it's not good, they ain't coming back -- let alone coming backstage for autographs. Keeping this tenet in mind, here, shared exclusively with the Dance Insider, are 10 cradle-to-grave ideas from presenters, choreographers, directors, and performers -- ranging from choreographer Bill T. Jones to former Kennedy Center director Lawrence T. Wilker -- for expanding the legions of dance maniacs. Subscribers click here to read the full Article. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Frantisek Kupka, "Localization of Graphic Motifs II," 1912-13. Oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 76 3/8" (200 x 194 cm), frame: 78 3/4 x 76 3/8" (200 x 194 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund and Gift of Jan and Meda Mladek. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington. ̩̉2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

Arts Voyager Gallery, 1-8: The Big Bang Axiom
Back to the Future with "Inventing Abstraction" at MoMA
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

If you think the world only started getting smaller -- and the many worlds of art cross-fertilizing -- with the advent of the Internet, you need to get yourself to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With "Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925," a pan-media exhibition of 350 paintings, drawings, prints, books, sculptures, photographs, recordings, dances, and more, running through April 15, MoMA returns to its historical and pedagogical roots and, not incidentally, furnishes a much-needed refresher for a 21st century New York art world as evidently rootless as it is profligate, as well as a template for today's would be multi-media hopscotchers, too often content with dilettante dabbling and dipping in their sister art forms. Subscribers click here to read the full Article and see more Images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

From the exhibition "Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925," on view at the Museum of Modern Art through April 25: Vaslav Nijinsky, "Untitled. (Arcs and Segments: Planes)," 1918-19. Crayon and pencil on paper, 11 1/4 x 14 9/16" (28 x 37 cm). Collection John Neumeier. ̩̉2012 Collection John Neumeier. For our full gallery / article on the MoMA exhibition, subscribers can click here. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Flash Flashback, 1-8: Where's Ida Rubinstein?
Nijinsky at the Orsay: Mis-steps at an Exhibition
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2000, 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

First published on October 25, 2000.

PARIS -- Millions more people go to museums than to dance performances. As well, dance, unlike the visual arts, is ephemeral. So whenever there is an exhibit of dance-related visual art in a museum, it is reason to celebrate. More people are being exposed to our art, including many who have never been to an actual dance performance. ("I'm going to get myself to a proper ballet performance one of these days," a visitor to Musee d'Orsay, where a new exhibit on Vaslav Nijinky opened yesterday, resolved to his companion in a Cockney accent.) However, precisely because this is in many cases the only exposure a wide public will get to dance, a curator's responsibility to be scrupulous in representing our history is acute. While the new multi-gallery exhibit at d'Orsay, running through February 18, is thus reason to celebrate, the curating by Martine Kahane and Erik Nasland commits at least one error, misidentifying a crucial dancer, so that her name is left entirely out of the exhibit. This, at least one other sin of omission, some questionable choices for inclusion, and one noticeably puzzling display order mar an exhibit that otherwise provides several high-points to leave one breathless, so vivid is the portrait that emerges of the man regarded as the greatest male dancer ever. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

They made Belle Epoque Paris a 'museum for the masses,' and now they're in a museum. On view through January 20 at the Dallas Museum of Art, Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries presents 100 examples of this street art, including, by Jules Cheret (French, 1836-1932), top left: "Bal du Moulin Rouge," 1889, color lithograph (sheet: 48 1/2 x 35 in. or 123.2 x 88.9 cm), and top right, "Folies Bergere: Loie Fuller," 1897, color lithograph (sheet: 48 x 33 7/8 in. or 121.9 x 86 cm), both collection of Jim and Sue Wiechmann, photographed by John Glembin, Milwaukee Art Museum; and, both color lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901), gifts of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley and photographed by Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Art Museum, bottom left, "Moulin Rouge-La Goulue," 1891 (sheet: 76 7/16 x 48 in. or 194.2 x 121.9 cm) and, bottom right: "Divan Japonais," 1893 (sheet: 31 5/16 x 23 15/16 in. or 79.5 x 60.8 cm), featuring Jane Avril, the brainiest Can-Can dancer ever (see story below for more on Avril).

Flash Flashback, 12-21: The woman in the poster
Jane Avril by Francois Caradec: There's a reason she inspired Toulouse-Lautrec
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2010, 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

Jane Avril, the svelte red-headed dancer immortalized by Toulouse-Lautrec, lucked out in landing the late Francois Caradec, a giant of the French literary scene, to pen her story. Caradec was a tireless bibliophile, and this passion served him well in reconstructing the life of this seminal thinking dancer's dancer. Subscribers click here for the full Article. (Not a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above. Just want this article? Donate $5 using the PayPal Donate button above and we'll send it to you.)

Cross Country / A Memoir of France
20: An American Protester in Paris
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2011 Paul Ben-Itzak

C'est pas chez toi

"Alors, tu fait l'opposition de l'exterior, c'est bien ca?" I had just told the petite, dirty blonde lawyer with the impertinent blue eyes and girlish voice in the floppy gray trench-coat that I was not even tempted to go back to the U.S. as long as Bush was president. We were at the chipped mosaic "zinc," or counter, of le Valmy, my 'cafe d'habitude' on the Quai Valmy of the Canal Saint-Martin (I was stationed on the corner stool, from which I could look out at the canal through the Sun-streaked cracked window), a mythic Parisian water-way which runs all the way to the Bastille (moving underground a panhandle at the Boulevard Richard Lenoir, where Simenon's Commissar Maigret lived with his doting wife), immortalized in films like Jean Vigo's 1934 "L'Atalante," in which Michel Simon's crusty sea captain takes his first mate and his bride on a honeymoon tour of France's water-ways (I'd copped an imprecation uttered by Simon to one of the cats who make up his menage when she jumps on his dinner table to use with my own feline roommates: "Allez Mignon, c'est pas chez toi!"; it sounded more lyrical than "Mesha Mesha if you're able, get yourself off the table, this is not a kitty's stable!"); Marcel Carne's 1947 fairy-tale "Les portes de la nuit," in which Yves Montand made his debut (introducing "The Dead Leaves," neutered in the American version as "Autumn Leaves") as a man who misses the last Metro to live a dreamish night in Barbes (in now mostly Arabic lower Montmartre; the lanky, swarthy, Italian-born young Montand would fit right in) which ends with his lover's body being fished out of the canal; and "Hotel du Nord," also by Carn̮̩, in which the legendary music hall chanteuse Arletty indignantly tells a paramour in her high-pitched voice, "Atmosphere!? Atmosphere!? Is that all I am to you?!" It's a canal intersected by locks, and when I lived in Paris, pedestrians still made time to stop if they happened to find themselves on one of its bridges (from which "Amelie" liberated her goldfish) when a ferry was about to pass under. Subscribers click here to read the full Chapter. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Top left: Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), "Le Luxe I," 1907. Oil on canvas, 82 11/16 x 54 5/16 in. (210 x 138 cm). Centre Pompidou, Mus̮̩e National d'Art Moderne, Paris. Purchase, 1945. Top right: Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), "Drawing for 'Le Luxe,'" 1907. Charcoal, squared for transfer, on paper mounted to canvas, 88 9/16 x 53 15/16 in. (225 x 137 cm). Centre Pompidou, Mus̮̩e National d'Art Moderne, Paris. Gift of Marguerite Duthuit, 1976. Bottom: Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954),, "Luxe, calme, et volupt̮̩," 1904. Oil on canvas, 38 3/4 x 46 5/8 in. (98.5 x 118.5 cm). Centre Pompidou, Mus̮̩e National d'Art Moderne, Paris. Gift in lieu of estate taxes, 1982. On extended loan to the Mus̮̩e d'Orsay, Paris. All images and works ̩̉2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The Arts Voyager, 12-18: Moving in the Light
Matisse at the Met: A body of work, also at work on the body
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

Before he changed the shape of dance, Diaghilev published a pivotal art magazine. Before he launched Balanchine in America, Lincoln Kirstein fervently tried to get the original, 10-hour version of Eisenstein's film "Viva Mexico" to these shores. Like Balanchine, Martha Graham's work wasn't just an annex in the genesis of modern art, but one of its principal exponents. In an epoch when cloistered dance students sometimes grow up to be choreographers who think they're also plasticians and playwrights even if they've had no training in these mediums, it's vital that dancers continue to be reminded that they are part of a larger artistic movement. So we continue in these pages to cover Anthology Film Archives (whose founder, Jonas Mekas, once shared the fabled 80 Wooster Street with Trisha Brown, and later realized Kirstein's dream to show that uncut version of "Viva Mexico"); the Morgan Library, whose upcoming 160-piece Surrealism exhibition includes an evening of dances by Graham (apparently one of the few women artists represented in the exhibition); the Museum of Modern Art, whose imminent 350-piece exhibition, "Inventing Abstraction," includes evenings of live dance as well as archival film extracts of the work of Mary Wigman and Rudolf von Laban; and, today, Henri Matisse, whose revisiting of subjects is explored in the Metropolitan Museum's new exhibition Matisse: In Search of True Painting -- an Exploration of Matisse's Painting Process, on view through March 17, and which, not incidentally, also reveals how Matisse highlighted the contours of the human body. Herewith a plentitude of examples which the Met has generously provided from the self-assured master who, as Clement Greenberg put it in 1949 in The Nation, "can no more help painting well than breathing" -- a description which might well apply to many dancers. Click here to read the full article and see more Images.

Tumultuous Times: 12 years of dance in Europe
Tanz-Miniatures from Wolfl and Neuer Tanz
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2003, 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

(For more than 12 years, the Dance Insider has been the leading English-language source for reviews of the European dance scene. Help the Dance Insider return to Paris and increase its coverage of European dance by finding us investors. For more information, e-mail publisher Paul Ben-Itzak. This Flash Review was first published on April 24, 2003.)

BOBIGNY, Seine-Saint-Denis, France -- Sure, I kept re-inserting noise-muffling bits of wetted toilet tissue in my ears to save my hearing. Sure, the constant quick black-outs and lights back up were giving me an eye-ache. Sure, the repetitions were at times exasperating, and sure, I was watching the clock. But by the end of "Greenspans Aktentasche," VA Wolfl's 2001 tour-de-force not-about-Alan Greenspan's briefcase dance on the astonishingly and specifically virtuosic Neuer Tanz to open the Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis last night, the only reason I was watching the clock was to be sure I made the Last Metro, for I had been transported into Wonderland. Click here to read the full Review.

Love on the run: Ben Gazzara, Audrey Hepburn, and a whole lotta real New Yorkers star in Peter Bogdanovich's 1981 "They All Laughed." Courtesy Home Box Office.

The Arts Voyager, 12-13: Lovable Losers
Woody who?; Anthology fetes Ben Gazzara, the real NY Everyman
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

When is a tribute to Ben Gazzara, the quintessential tragedian of the New York film school who died in February at 81, more than just a tribute to Ben Gazzara, who after all never obtained super-star status? When the retrospective is presented by Anthology Film Archives (December 13-23), where it's transformed into a festival of the type of cinema d'auteur promoted (and practiced) by Jonas Mekas, who founded the fabled New York cinematheque more than four decades ago and is still going strong at 90. Subscribers click here to read the full Review and see more images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Martha Graham wasn't just the creator of American Modern Dance, but a co-creator of American Modern Art. Thus it's appropriate that Modernage's 1972 gelatin silver print of Barbara Morgan (1900-1992)'s "Martha Graham -- 'Lamentation,' 1935" (left) should be part of "Big Pictures," running March 5 - April 21, 2013 at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, whose current exhibition "To see as artists see: American Art from the Phillips Collection," showing through January 6, includes (right) Walt Kuhn (1877-1949)'s oil on canvas "Plumes, 1931" (acquired 1932, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.). For more work from current and upcoming exhibitions at the Amon Carter, click here. For more on Martha Graham, click here. (Morgan photo ̩̉Barbara Brooks Morgan. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas. Gift of the artist P1974.21.28..)

Cross Country / A Memoir of France
19: Oui, je parle baguette
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

Just because you speak French doesn't mean you understand the French

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Cross Country / A Memoir of France
18: If the hat doesn't fit, comment trouv̮̩ l'amour?
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2011 Paul Ben-Itzak

For the love of a tuba, rendez-vous rate

"Whadda ya mean, the hats are in Germany?" "I got a call from a delivery service in Wiesbaden and they're being held up because of a strike. They won't be here for at least another ten days." "But it will be too late then; the hat show will be over. Let me check into it." I'd met Laura Daly when she was managing a dance company in Connecticut, Momix. Discovering that she designed hats -- and had a whole line of them, most of which looked to me chic-ly French -- I offered to host a show for her in my Paris flat on the rue de Paradis, nestled among the crystal and porcelain shops. The problem was that we were in April 2002, and in one of its many nonsensical security measures, the U.S. government had decided that any package over two pounds destined for Europe would be routed through Wiesbaden, and the stock for her show was reduced to the box she was able to cart with her on the plane. I invited my own reduced stock of Parisienne candidates d'amour: Benedicte, who had forgiven me for breaking up with her when Sylvie stole my heart; Sylvie, who'd rebuked me by pretending I hadn't kissed her; and Gillian, a tr̮̩s chic new candidate. Sabine and I weren't speaking since I'd answered her suggestion that Judaism wasn't a culture or race but just a religion by fleeing her car while she was retrieving her clown costume. This is a bad habit I have; ending the argument by escaping it. Subscribers click here to read the full Chapter. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the Subscribe button above.)

Peter William Holden's installation "Solenoid." Image ̩̉Medial Mirage Matthias Moller.

MARSEILLE -- On my first visit to France's second largest city, to cover the Festival de Danse et des Arts Multiple this past summer, I was greeted by construction everywhere in preparation for the city's year as the European Capital of Culture 2013. Cranes towered high over the Old Port and barriers kept pedestrian traffic to a single lane on a busy Friday night. Living up to my expectations for the capitol of Provence, the days were hot under clear blue skies and the obsessive green-clad cleaning teams who are omnipresent in Paris and most other French cities seemed non-existent. But there was a good buzz in town and the architecture on the precipitous and storied Canabiere, the main shopping street which descends into the port and which was once the city's main gathering place, is a fascinating mix of European and Moorish. The tour bus that wends its way from the Old Port out to the beach, along the Corniche Kennedy, past the Frioul islands and the Chateau d'If, then up a steep hill to Notre Dame de la Garde provides an ideal overview of the city's scenic highlights, including the fishing village Vallon des Auffes, where the chase scene in "The French Connection" was shot. The view from the hilltop is spectacular and worth the climb. Subscribers click here to read the full Review and see more images. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the PayPal Subscribe button above.)

New on our sister publication Art Investment News: On November 16 & 17, Christie's Paris hosts its largest auction ever in France, with 175 photographs, including, above: Elfried Stegmeyer (1908-1988), Untitled (Girl In Clouds), 1936. Epreuve sur papier albuminee sur support cartonne. Estimated at 4,000 - 6,000 Euros ($5,136 - $7,703). Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2012. For our complete story and more images, click here.

The Arts Voyager, 11-15: The case of Albert Camus, the Stranger who looks like us
A plea to the French government to step in and sponsor his centennial exhibition
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

News item: Planned centennial exhibition, "Albert Camus, the stranger who looks like us," to be curated by scholar Benjamin Stora for Marseille - Provence Capital Cultural European 2013, cancelled by the committee for Marseille - Provence Capital Cultural European 2013. (Click here to read -- in French -- the preliminary scenario for the exposition conceived of by Benjamin Stora and Jean-Baptiste P̮̩reti̮̩, as initially approved by Catherine Camus, the author's daughter and rights-holder.)

The occasion was as opportune as the disappointing denouement was perhaps inevitable, given the tendency of the interested to alienate people on both sides of any given question with a point of view and approach that often defied any fixed ideology, bred from the melanged influences of ideas and experience, intellect and instinct, reflection and urgency. At the heart of the Mediterranean capital Marseille's campaign to win the European Union's coveted and potentially lucrative Cultural Capital of Europe designation for 2013 would be the man who not only embodies everything that is heroic about France, a champion of philosophy, letters, the theater, even -- as editor of the underground newspaper Combat -- the Resistance to the German Occupation, but who better than anybody embodies in one man the intricate, still conflicted mosaic that is France's relations with its former colonies, its own Mediterranean first man, Albert Camus. Click here to read the full Article.

Donna Scro in her "One. Constant. Change." Photo Copyright Daniel Hedden.

NEW YORK -- When Stacie Shivers appeared before the audience to open "Breath of the Heart," the first piece on the bill for Donna Scro / Freespace Dance's concert on September 23 at Peridance Capezio Center, an excited young boy behind me whispered, "That's my teacher!" It was both disconcerting and illuminating to see performer as pedagogue; instead of being absorbed into the scene, one became alert, prepared to learn lessons. Subscribers click here to read the full Review. (Not yet a subscriber? To subscribe today for just $29.95/year, just click on the PayPal Subscribe button above.)