Friday, September 8, 2017

Falls the Shadow

The Empire State Building as seen from 9th Avenue. 10:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, September 8, 2017. When it comes to the weather, everybody I know in New York is talking about or thinking about Hurricane Irma believed to be heading toward South Florida. There are a lot of New Yorkers who have homes in that area on the coast. Here in New York, it has been sunny and mild with temps in the high 60s, low 70s but kind of on the cool side; no humidity. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, they are experiencing record high temperatures (over 100) from San Francisco to LA where the fires in the mountains behind Burbank are raging. Those West Coast fires are unimaginably scary to even watch. Again, like a high category hurricane, the fires seems to rage and pulsate with the winds behind as if they have life.
Park Avenue placidity on Monday, Labor Day.
Yesterday on Park Avenue. Safe to say everyone is back in town.
Back to business. On Tuesday night, JH went over to the Guggenheim for the final performance of Daniil Simkin's “Falls the Shadow.” There were four performances in total (two on Monday and two on Tuesday) each lasting only 30 minutes. JH only learned about it on Monday night when he was walking home past the Guggenheim and noticed what he described as an "extra terrestrial rain dance of sorts."
The view from outside the Gugg on Monday night.
It turns out he was so intrigued by what he saw "loitering outside the Gugg" that he ran home to purchase a ticket for the following and final night's performance. “Falls the Shadow” — commissioned by Works & Process and created by American Ballet Theatre principal Daniil Simkin — captures the dancer's movements in real time by motion sensors generating 3-D mapped visuals projected onto the surface of the museum's rotunda. This techno-musical visual artistic extravaganza was designed to be viewed from above as the digital imagery was splayed all around the Guggenheim's rotunda and beneath, behind and above the dancer's bodies.

It was technology meets dance and it was a match made in Guggenheim heaven.
JH returning for more on Tuesday night.
“Falls the Shadow" was danced by Mr. Simkin along with ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary and contemporary dancers Ana Lopez and Brett Conway.  The choreography was by Alejandro Cerrudo; projection design by Dmitrij Simkin (Daniil father); interactive media design by Arístides Job García Hernández; and costume design (grey bodysuits) by Dior
Shade Without Form, Shade Without Color, Gesture Without Motion — The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot
Daniil Simkin, Cassandra Trenary, Ana Lopez, and Brett Conway on the floor of the Guggenheim Museum rotunda performing  “Falls the Shadow."
The digial imagery and the dancers begin their journey ...
The digital projections also flowed up the spiral ramp within the rotunda.
Walking up the ramp for a higher vantage point.
There was an intimate post-reception at The Wright where Daniil, looking like a young Baryshnikov but with a considerably more jubilant disposition (again, all according to JH), thanked his fellow dancers, his choreographer, and his father. Guests included Caroline Cronson, who is the driving force behind Works & Process (Guggenheim’s performance series) and whom without this performance would not have been possible; her charming husband Paul Cronson; dancers Ana Lopez , Brett Conway, Cassandra Trenary and her husband Gray Davis, Olivia Flatto, Joanna Fisher, Julie Granger, and Orthopedic surgeon to the etoiles Dr. Philip Bauman.
At the post-reception at The Wright: Julie Granger, Caroline Cronson, and Daniil Simkin.
Dmitrij Simkin, Olivia Flatto, Joanna Fisher, and Dr. Philip Bauman.
Joanna Fisher, Daniil Simkin, Cassandra Trenary, and Dmitrij Simkin.
As reported here, Wednesday was also the annual luncheon given by the Couture Council of the Museum at FIT, opening Fashion Week. I took a few photos as I made my way to the table I was seated at.

Audrey Gruss introduced me to her daughter-in-law Jessica Gruss who married Audrey’s stepson Josh Gruss last March. Audrey also was very excited to tell me that the Hope For Depression Research Foundation, which she founded several years ago has just launched a Hope Fragrance — “a fusion of white flowers and a crisp green ingredient ...” and it is available at Saks stores as well as There’s a candle also. Audrey calls it a “fragrance with a mission,” a scent that uplifts. I’m going to get one to uplift some of the scent of the dogs, who are snoozing at my feet as I sit here at my desk. They like a sweeter fragrance too. Hope was the name of Audrey’s mother who struggled with depression.
Whoopi at the podium to introduce her friend, the honoree, Thom Browne.  I don’t watch The View but I once, only once, saw a live performance of Whoopi Goldberg at a theater in LA. If you’ve seen her perform, you already know this about her. If you haven’t, well, she is nothing short of brilliant, hilariously intelligent, and with genius sensitivity. Hilarity aside, she talked about her friendship with Thom Browne as well as her great admiration for his innovation in fashion. What he innovated for her for this event was more of a conversation piece with its own spotlight, as you can see.

The honoree, Mr. Browne, accepted his award and thanked by name several people in his life for whom he is grateful.
Kathy Prounis, one of the co-chairs of the luncheon, which raised $950,000 for the Museum at FIT, and Karen Klopp, whose “What To Wear Where” column with Hilary Dick, appears on the NYSD. Audrey Gruss with her daughter-in-law Jessica Gruss.
I took this picture because I did not know this lady, had never seen her before, and yet she had a certain je ne sais quoi that I couldn’t resist, and so I asked if I could. She was a new face or else someone from out of town. She is European, Corinna zu Sayn Wittgenstein. She is German by descent, although she was married to a prince of Lichtenstein, and is here doing something with the UN. This was her first time at the Couture Council luncheon.
The first course, the “Wedgeless Wedge” slice of iceberg lettuce, blue cheese dressing, heirloom tomatoes, and Applewood smoked bacon. Perfect.
Our friend the intrepid international traveler Sharon Hoge was at the luncheon too, and with her camera she photographed some other important fashion innovations (i.e. footwear) and had this to say:

Kicking off the fashion season, guests at FIT's Couture Council Awards Luncheon put their best feet forward in shoes that ran the gamut from classic Manolo pumps to strappy clunky metallic mules and boots. Minimalist sandals peeked out from long tailored trouser legs and platform soles teetered by.  Seasonal red was among the bright colors, and sturdy brogues were a nod to awardee designer Thom Browne. If you're wondering what to step out in, here's what we saw looking down for the fall.
Linda Fargo.
Martha Stewart with Thom Browne handbag.
Andrew Bolton.
And finally, for those of you out in Martha's Vinyeard, our very own Sian Ballen of NYSD House fame, is showing five of her paintings at the Tenth Annual Group Abstract Show, "Abstract Spaces and Places," at The Louisa Gould Gallery on Main Street in Vineyard Haven.

The exhibit also showcases the work of seven other artists, all with long time connections to Martha's Vineyard:  Michaele Christian, Roberta Gross, Jeri Dantzig, Edwina Rissland, Martha Mae Jones, Laura Roosevelt, and Chetta Kelley. These artists have created very individualistic works of art by employing a variety of media: acrylics, glass, fabrics, digital photography, oil and water based monotypes, and mixed media.
Sian Ballen, Untitled 2
Sian, who took up painting "later in life," describes her artistic process as "a personal exploration into the world that surrounds me through use of abstract forms and color. I have always been strongly influenced by both Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting. By combining the dual aspects of these two artistic movements with subtle colors and bold strokes, I hope to create a sense of balance."

The show runs through September 10, 2017 so hurry!
Sian Ballen, Untitled 3

Photographs by Samantha Nandez/ (FIT)

Contact DPC here.