Monday, December 30, 2013

300 Years of Dance in Paris

As we close out the year 2013, we look back and celebrate the 300 year anniversary of the French school of dance, founded in 1713.

The oldest academy of dance in the western world, the French school focuses on “the primacy of harmony, the coordination of movements, the accuracy of positions, and the disdain of prowess” ( Today, 95% of the graduates from this school form the Opera Ballet, which shares the gorgeous, monumental Palais Garnier with the Paris Opera.

Louis XIV, the French king famous for his lavish palace at Versailles, founded the French school of dance in 1713. He was an avid supporter of ballet. In fact, his familiar epithet, the “Sun King,” derives from his own experience as a dancer. As a youth, he performed the part of Apollo, the god of the sun, in Le Ballet de la Nuit wearing a glorious golden costume. He danced often and gained great acclaim as a performer.

Henri Gissey, Louis XIV dans Le Ballet de la Nuit, 17th century. Graphics, Pen, wash and gouache.
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

The next event on the Opera Ballet’s calendar is a staging of Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” (« La belle au bois dormant »). First performed in Saint Petersburg in 1890, the ballet was inspired by French author Charles Perrault’s fairy tale of the same name. Tchaikovsky and the choreographer Marius Petipa “imagined a ‘fairy-tale ballet’ in which dream and reality overlap and where fairies and godmothers, and the forces of Good and Evil fight over the fate of two young people” (Paris Opera Ballet).

“It was not until 1989 that Rudolf Nureyev restaged the work based on the original choreography for the Paris Opera Ballet. Readopting the original order and structure of the piece, passed on by generations of dancers, he devised a choreography of dazzling academic virtuosity, alternating between lavish ensembles and pas de deux. The sumptuous sets and costumes by Ezio Frigerio and Franca Squarciapino recreate the splendour of one of the most outstandingly accomplished masterpieces in the classical repertoire” (Paris Opera Ballet).

« La belle au bois dormant »
Opéra Bastille
Place de la Bastille 75012 Paris
Métro : Bastille lignes 1, 5 et 8, RER Gare de Lyon
Bus : 20, 29, 65, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91
Parking : Opéra Bastille, 34 rue de Lyon

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 11:06:00 PM
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jean-Marc Fray Ranks “Best Antiques 2013”!

We are thrilled to announce that the Austin design community voted Jean-Marc Fray “Best Source For Antiques” in Austin Home’s Winter 2013 edition of “Best of the City”! Hundreds of architects, designers, home builders and other home industry professionals were surveyed for this inaugural event.

Thank you Austin!

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 08:09:00 PM
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Monday, December 09, 2013

Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum

Jean-Paul Gaultier’s fabulous exhibit “From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” is currently on view in Brooklyn. It is the exhibit’s only stop on the east coast, so take this chance to see it, if you live nearby!

When the show came to Dallas last year, we posted a blog entry to showcase it [click here]. What a fantastic visual experience! A few new additions will be on view in Brooklyn — the exhibit’s second to last stop before ending in London next year.

Gaultier for Beyonce

Gaultier for Kylie Minogue

 “Organized by theme into sections including Punk Cancan and Urban Jungle, the exhibition will feature works new to the show’s tour and never previously exhibited in New York, including stage costumes worn by Beyonce and Kylie Minogue, Madonna’s memorable corsets from the Blond Ambition World Tour in 1990, and the costumes from Luc Besson’s 1996 film The Fifth Element. Works from the couturier’s collaborations with notable artists and photographers including Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, Mario Testino, and Herb Ritts will also be on view” (Interior Design).

Sketch for The Fifth Element

Other famous works, such as the 2008 La Mariee gown will also be on view.

As before, the exhibit mixes art with media in a provocative way. Many of the mannequins, all of which were custom made for the show, sport interactive faces that are frighteningly, yet wonderfully, real.

“The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”

October 25, 2013–February 23, 2014
The Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052  

Telephone: (718) 638-5000 
Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 07:28:00 PM
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