Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dress of the Day - July 9, 2011

Dress of the Day: Nicholas Roerich, costume for Le Sacre du Printemps, ballet by Igor Stravinsky presented by the Ballets Russes (1913). Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes took Paris by storm when they arrived in 1909, creating truly interdisciplinary art - with the most modern music, dance, fashion, and set design.
Nicholas Roerich was a teacher of Marc Chagall, and I saw works by both of them today at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's exhibition "Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle." This splendid exhibit brought to life the world of Paris in the early to mid 20th century through the art of Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Ossip Zadkine, Amedeo Modigliani, Chana Orloff, Moïse Kisling, Moïse Kogan, Jacques Lipchitz, and others. A variety of mediums appeared in the show, such as painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, and illustrated books, providing a sense of the breadth of their artistic endeavors. I was particularly excited to see depictions of costumes and sets from Ballets Russes designers such as Leon Bakst, Natalia Goncharova, and Mikhail Larionov, as well as Roerich. It's amazing to see what the premiere performances of some of my favorite music looked like!
This costume for a Maiden in Rite of Spring evokes Russian folk clothing. It is of white cotton with painted geometric motifs on the yoke.

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