Sunday, February 24, 2008

Epic and monumental

Saw the Diana Vishneva-travaganza, Beauty in Motion, this weekend at City Center. For those of you who don't keep up with the bunhead world, Vishneva is a prima ballerina at the Mariinsky Theater as well as a principal with American Ballet Theatre. In terms of ballet, she's a supernova—the kind who can draw crowds (City Center ain't small) based on her name alone. Not being a ballet expert, I won't say much about the evening, except that yes, she is that hot, and two of the three short pieces by Moses Pendleton (of Momix fame) not only pushed cutesiness as far as it could go, but they also felt like a total waste of Vishneva's time and effort as they could have been performed by just about any dancer with a modicum of training. (Unfortunately the Sheila wasn't feeling well and we had to leave at the second intermission, thus preventing us from witnessing a piece of which the Times said "when we get to hell, it will be full of ballets like this"—which of course made me really regret to have missed it!)

But let's just focus for a second on what is now my favorite program bio ever: that of Tatiana Chernova, designer for the Pierrot Lunaire ballet. Some choice excerpts:

"Her distinctive vision of the world and style make her a unique and vivid phenomenon in the motley flow of artistic trends. Both literalness in the standard realist manner and absorption in quotidian detail are profoundly alien to the very nature of her creativity."

"Chernova's style is epic and monumental. Large-format panels, like mysterious mirages, combine the read and the conditional. The precisely calibrated correlation between the abstract and the concrete, dreams and reality, is always present in the work of Tatiana Chernova. Her works can be regarded infinitetely. At first our eyes capture the image as a whole, then they begin to travel, stopping at various details. Without noticing it, we are drawn inside the painting, into its spatial medium. And that is yet another magical characteristic of her art."

"Everything in her paintings is voluminous yet weightless. A strong 'sculptural' sense of form and pleasure in drawing difficult angles and dizzying compositions define her optical paintings in the manner of Michelangelo's ceilings and the academy of the Carracci brothers (17th century)."

If only all bios could be as wonderfully unselfconscious… Alas, Playbill is full of to-the-point awards recaps, mentions of Law & Order, and grateful thanks to god and agents. I don't see Tatiana Chernova thanking deities or agents—she obviously doesn't need either.

No comments: