Hymn to Apollo: The Ancient World and the Ballets Russes at ISAW

 

 

 

Image: By Léon Bakst. Costume Design for Tamara Karsavina as Chloé, for Daphnis et Chloé. ca. 1912. Graphite and tempera and/or watercolor on paper. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund: 1933.392. Image provided by Allen Phillips/Wadsworth Atheneum.

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) will open its doors to the exhibition Hymn to Apollo: The Ancient World and the Ballets Russes, an exploration of the seminal role of antiquity in shaping the radically new creations of the famed ballet troupe founded in 1909 by Sergei Diaghilev.

Artist Unknown. Plaque Depicting a Satyr and a Maenad. Roman, Augustan or Julio-Claudian, 27 BCE–68 CE. Terracotta. H. 50.8 cm; W. 44.5 cm; D. 4.4 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1912: 12.232.8a. CC0 1.0 Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is the first exhibition examining this topic, and will include more than 95 objects from ancient pottery, sculpture, metalwork to costumes, photographs, watercolors, musical scores, digitized films of Ballets Russes productions, and a rich trove of archival material.

The featured image at the top of the post, by Léon Bakst, shows how the Greek-inspired costumes he designed gave the Ballets Russes dancers greater physical freedom and allowed for more overtly expressive gestures than traditional lydressed ballerinas.

Adolf de Meyer. Vaslav Nijinsky as the Faun Approaching Lubov Tchernicheva as a Nymph from Prelude à l’Après-midi d’un Faune. 1912. Platinum print. H. 15.7 cm; W. 18.4 cm. New York Public Library, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, Roger Pryor Dodge Collection: (S) *MGZEC 84-819, No. 2003. Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Hymn to Apollo will be on view from March 6 through June 2, 2019. The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University (ISAW) is located at 15 East 84th Street, NYC. The gallery is free and open to the public. This exhibition has been organized by ISAW and is co-curated by Clare Fitzgerald, Associate Director of Exhibitions and Gallery Curator, and Rachel Herschman, Curatorial Assistant, both at ISAW. Ballets Russes scholar Lynn Garafola served as an outside advisor.

Established in 2006, The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University is an independent center for scholarly research and graduate education, intended to cultivate comparative and connective investigations of the ancient world.

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