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MarzipanShepherdess

Guggenheim “Ballet kink” event with Brendan Fernandes

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This year’s Guggenheim Young Collector’s party had a “ballet kink” theme. I attended and it was...interesting. 

They commissioned the artist Brendan Fernandes to stage a piece inspired by his work “Master and Form”. Apparently Fernandes spent much of his childhood training towards a career as a ballet dancer, only to have a career-ending injury after which he switched to studying visual art. I’m not sure what the original piece was like, but for the party they staged the piece in the Guggenheim’s rotunda. There was a cast of about 8 dancers, male and female, including Elina Miettinen who some will remember from her years in the ABT corps, and Violetta Komyshan, a dancer who was formerly with Ballet Next but now seems to be more of an Instagram “influencer”.

The dancers all had rope harnesses on their chests, and did simple choreography like bourées around the rig, while one dancer was suspended with rope from the rig itself. At some points the four female dancers broke away from the rig area and went up the rotunda ramp, using the side of the ramp like a ballet barre and doing some arabesques and plies while holding on to it.  Often one dancer would hold onto the rope trailing off another’s harness, pulling him/her around for a few minutes or forming a chain with several other dancers.

There wasn’t any real sense of momentum to the piece, it seemed like the dancers were improvising off of a pretty narrow set of rehearsed movements rather randomly. It got quite repetitive. My husband and I stayed at the party for about an hour and left, I think the whole piece ran for 3 hours (with different dancers rotating in and out).  

I was hoping for something a little more exciting from a dance point of view, but the piece was more interesting to watch than the video art or DJ performances usually featured at these types of events! 

Vogue write up:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vogue.com/article/the-guggenheim-young-collectors-party-2019/amp

 

 

 

Edited by MarzipanShepherdess

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