Monday, May 14, 2018

METLIVEARTS ENTERTAINMENT: Review by Polly Guerin


Artist in Residence JULIA BULLOCK
Visiting a museum today is not just about the art works and statues it's become something more performance-centric connecting entertainment to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's iconic METLIVEARTS series and Artist in Residence programming. Throughout 2018-1019, leading artists will connect with the museum's exhibitions and individual works of art through original commissions and site-specific performances.
      Believe me, this is an innovative approach in the life of this storied cultural institution.  It is a transforming experience, particularly in the galleries, where music and dance interact, respond to and are inspired by the works of art and sculpture.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
     The stunning opera singer Julia Bullock has created five programs that will be presented throughout the year. This is an impressive feat for the bi-racial St. Louis born singer, as most opera singers don't even begin their careers till 28, she will be able to add The Met to her resume, as their new Artist in Residence. Her residency will include collaborations with renowned guest performers and will draw on the lives, legacies and words of Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and Thornton Dial, among others.                    Hailed as "opulent and glorious" by Opera News, Bullock brings her rich and resonant soprano vocals to poems by Langston Hughes, such as, "Harlem,"  "Genius Child," and "Song for a Dark Girl," in which she will be joined by other stellar performers. (December 2, 3 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium). 
       An all new chamber music version of contemporary master John Adam's Christmas oratorio, El Nino is also on the schedule. In Meditations for Josephine, January 2019, Bullock will re- imagine Josephine Baker on the steps of The Met's Great Hall.  
SONNAMBULA at The Met Cloisters 
THE MET CLOISTERS
      The 2018-19 season also features a new artist residency focusing specifically on The Met Cloisters The historical performance ensemble SONNAMBULA will invigorate the location's medieval galleries through a series of concerts that bring a contemporary sensibility to the group's historically informed performances. During their residency at The Met Cloisters, Sonnambula will perform with world -renowned artists including the renaissance wind ensemble Piffaro, lute virtuoso Esteban La Rotta and author and photographer Teju Cole.
      "MetLiveArts commissions powerful artists to explore the Museum's collection and create relevant thought-provoking performances," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met.
"This upcoming season of programming will connect our three locations with a broad and diverse audience, creating new pathways for engagement with our exhibitions and encyclopedic collection and exhibitions."
BATTLE HIP=HOP IN ARMOR 
IT'S SHOWTIME NYC! Among the seasons other highlights The Met's Department of Arms and Armor will showcase dance performances in the Arms and Armor Court, Battle! Hip-Hop in Armor in which the world hip-hop dance culture collides with the bygone age of armor when these freestyle dancers meet chainmail, leather, and metal armor from around the world. The MetLiveArts has commissioned the fierce artists of it's Showtime NYC! from the South Bronx's Dancing in the Streets urban dance organization to preform a series of pop-up dance battles in the gallery wearing pieces from The Met.
       The MetLiveArts explores contemporary performances through the lens of the Museum's exhibitions and gallery spaces with an extensive and multi-faceted line-up of performances.For program information information, visit www.metmuseum.org/metlivearts. For tickets visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets or call 212.570-3949. Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! The MetLiveArts world premieres and site-specific performances have been named some of the most "memorable" and "best of" performances in New York City by the New York Times, New Yorker and Broadway World. Innovative and mesmerizing the MetLiveArts is the new way to go for an unforgettable entertainment experience. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalkfromnewyork.com and click in the left hand column to the Blog for a direct link to the Blog that meets your interest.
      


      

Monday, May 7, 2018

Ecclesiastical Fashion Show at the MET: Review By Polly Guerin

Evening Coat Cristobal Balenciaga for House of Balenciaga
Fashion is becoming more than ever devout and the worshipers trending this inspiration include Christian Dior, Gianni Versace, Cristobal Balenciaga, Valentino, Dolce &Gabbana and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few. Their fashion garments culled in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's fascinating Spring exhibition, HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION, opens to the public this Thursday, May 10th.  Image 1 (left) El Greco, Cardinal Fernando Nino de Guevara (1541-1609), Oil on Canvas; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, H.O Havermeyer Collection Bequest f Mrs. H. O. Havermeyer (1929); Image (c) Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image 2 (right( Evening Coat, Cristobal Balenciaga for House of Balenciaga, autumn/winter 1954-55; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital
Collection Scan by Katerina Jebb.
      Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, at the press opening this morning, responded to something that may have been on the minds of some of the attendees; "You may be asking, what's this church doing here?" He explained that the Catholic imagination embodied not only truth and goodness, but beauty, too! "The truth, goodness and beauty of God is revealed all over the place, even in fashion," he said. 
Dolce & Gabbana
The thematic exhibition is presented in three distinct gallery locations---the medieval galleries and the Anna Wintour Costume Center where a group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican occupy space and at The Met Cloisters. 

       "Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another." said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. "Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion."
        Approximately 150 ensembles, primarily women's wear from the early 20th century to the present captivate your attention in the medieval galleries alongside religious art from The Met collection, providing visitors with with a mesmerizing view of fashion's engagement with Catholicism. "Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another," added Bolton. Some designers initially told Bolton that their work wasn't influenced by religion, but later added that it played a roll in their creative imagination.     
Modern Nuns and Parochial Schoolgirls
The ecclesiastical fashions are obviously from couture collections where the runway shows are more about fantasy and entertainment than wearable art.  Nonetheless, fashionistas will be making a pilgrimage of sorts to view the collections enriched with religious symbolism, tiaras encrusted with thousands of diamonds, emeralds and rubies, papal cloaks and vestments encrusted with gold

embroidery richly designed with a Midas touch.  
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! This is one fashion statement you do not want to miss, which includes some rather parochial school-inspired black garments, a Chanel wedding gown inspired by a communion dress and saintly gowns with gold crowns to match. Fan mail welcome, please email
pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.org and click on the Blog link in the
left hand column to the subject that interests you on visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry from the heart.