Form follows function: dance, architectural design and the artists projects

Friday Jene and I went to see Robert Wilson’s “Snow on the Mesa” with the Martha Graham dancers at The Rose Theater.  The opening dance was spectacular with the dancers in what I considered Martha’s style of costumes – dancers draped in black garbs.  Beautiful forms gliding across the stage.

I don’t pretend to know a lot about Martha Graham, the company or Robert Wilson but I came across a review with photos that I refer you to:


The scenary was simple – striking colors of light as the backdrop, sounds of wind howling and in the final act, snow falling.

The second dance was Martha’s last choreography “Maple Leaf Rag” a spoof of her own work – lighthearted ragtime music.

What I do know is the distinct style is based in the breath – the contracting of gestures with intensity which seems to be hidden by the costumes designed by Donna Karan.  Robert Wilson’s direction of almost naked women bares more evidence of the Graham technique as you can see the bodies contract in their movements.  As a photographer, I am in awe of the simplicity and drama that unfolds.

I’m sure Jene will be posting his opinions and more details on his blog Fuzzypictures soon as one of his dance models Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, a principal dancer performed in the 3rd act “Navaho Rug”.  Carrie joined the Graham company in 2002.

We were hard-pressed to choose which night’s performance to attend and hope to read about the ones we didn’t see.


Saturday we went to the Architectural Digest Design Show at Pier 94 along with The Artists Project at Pier 92.  (Oh if only I hit the lottery…  I too could have the kitchen of my dreams, as well as other rooms and an outdoor space that invites relaxation).

We entered through the Artists Project and talked at length with a few artists that caught my eye.  The first being Dale M. Reid

from Toronto.  It was her dancing pears in the rain and her florals that enthralled me.  The stark black and white imagery suits my liking.

© Dale M Reid

Bob Francis captures flowers that have lost their dewiness and that is one of my favorite subject matters to shoot.  It shows the beauty that is still embodied through the aging process.  Our styles are similar and we spoke at length about it.

© Bob Francis

Masterfully created composites stemming from his photography was one of the more unique exhibits by artist Jeff Burke.  I’d love to see his collection of jewelry that inspired his digital manipulations turning them into the ornately intricate works. A fine array of unearthly delights comes to my mind, as a woman I am easily distracted by shiny objects and precious gems.

© JT Burke

Shih Ming Wang‘s beautiful abstracts ink on rice paper stopped me in my tracks.  The fluidity and simplicity of washing ink across paper always intrigued me and I am reminded that I still have the Sumi book, brushes and rice paper that a friend Shi Chen gave me as a parting gift.  I need to try my hand at that because it is something I always wanted to learn.  So zen. We talked about Kyoto and Jene’s solo exhibit at Ississ Gallery.

© SM-Wang

Another artist’s mixed media artwork stopped us.  Gavin Benjamin, a charismatic artist from Brooklyn explained his process in detail and I loved the effect of the coating on his prints.  It’s so cool talking with artists and although he knew we were both photographers, he shared his technique with us.  That’s what I love about most artists – no egos get in the way of connecting.

© Gavin Benjamin

Graham French, a landscape photographer whose beauty is captured in a unique collection of images from our fragile world.

© Graham French

We talked at length about his images, travel and being in the moment.  Graham’s images brought to mind how fleeting each moment is.

Shauna Angel Blue’s Village of Venus captivated us.  Jene’s favorite was also one of hers, which differed from mine.  Although she didn’t reveal her location of her venus village, it was a pleasure chatting with her.

© Shauna Angel Blue

Jean Miele is a photographer that I had the pleasure of meeting before.  I took a layers and mask photoshop seminar with him at Adorama a couple years back and am in dire need of a refresher class.  He was sorry to hear that I didn’t retain half of the information he imparted on the group.

© Jean Miele

The one thing I took away from the show as I do with all the other exhibits is that I really need to get me arse in gear and print some of the lovely images that I capture.



Filed under art, dance performances, NY Metro art galleries, photography

3 responses to “Form follows function: dance, architectural design and the artists projects

  1. cool description of the weekend

  2. Dale Reid is a beautiful photographer. I love the way that she is able to dodge light in the darkroom to obtain the purity of the white seen in the cloud of fog floating over the hidden trails. The white tulips on a black background are not only classic they are breathtaking The 2 hugging pairs depict a warm embrace. The light captured upon the boats glimmered in the mist.
    Dale is a true Photographer. One that is able to see the beauty that appears in the chemical bath as they wash into focus. The depth that Dale is able to capture is reminiscent of Ansel Adams.
    Thank you for sharing your gift with me.
    Artfully Yours,
    Melissa Ayr

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