The Musée d’Orsay is organising a series of balls to celebrate their exhibition the “Spectacular Second Empire”. Some of the balls are masked! You can spend the day learning the Polka (if you can count to 3 you can dance this) or the Quadrille from the members of the Association Carnet des Bals. Take part in the ball in the afternoon just as Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie would have, all within the spectacular surroundings of the Musée d’Orsay.
I was really looking forward to the Magritte exhibition ‘La Trahison des Images‘ at the Centre Pompidou. 5 differently themed rooms (flames, shadows, curtains, words and the body in pieces) bulging with paintings from this amazing Surrealist painter who was deeply interested in Philosophy. The art bit is at the bottom 😉
Did you know Gene Kelly created a ballet for the Paris Opéra ? Did you know he spoke excellent French ?
Nope, neither did I until I booked to go on one of the several morning or afternoon English-speaking guided tour groups around the Palais Garnier for my Mother and I (highly recommended). Apart from the 2 hour long tour of the building including the real explanation of where the Phantom of the Opera story came from (and yes there is a lake but no you cannot go there) we walked through the free, Special exhibition of “American Choreographers at the Paris Opera”.
In that exhibition more than 70 years of American involvement at the Paris ballet is chronologically arranged – starting in 1947 with George Balanchine who created the New York City Ballet.
Until 1970 the only other person to create a ballet was Gene Kelly in 1960 and in the exhibition is a video of him giving an interview in excellent French describing his ballet “Pas de Dieux”, a play on words meaning No Gods to the ballet term “Pas de Deux” meaning 2 people dancing together.
This is the drawing of the costumes drawn by Gene Kelly and below is my bad photo of one of the actual, and very beautiful, costumes.
There are loads of other amazing costumes, photos and videos from some of the most famous ballets including Agon, by Ballanchine assisted by the West Side Story choreographer, Jerome Robbins.
From 1983 – 89, when Rudolf Nureyev was Director he focused particularly on modern American dance, increased the number of invitations and systemised the alternation of classical and contemporary ballets.
Nureyev used his reputation to invite major names little known to the Opera such as Alvin Ailey (Au bord du précipice – 1983), Twyla Tharp (Première Orage – 1984) and William Forsythe who has choreographed at the Palais Garnier for the last 30 years including this year with “Of Any If And”. There are so many videos, newsreel items, photos and gorgeously, gorgeously gorgeous costumes of their ballets.
Recently some of the most amazing costumes (and sets) have been created by Christian Lacroix and to stand close to those costumes, unfortunately behind glass, and see the workmanship of the luxurious, bejewelled materials and their construction was truly a marvel.
It took at least an hour more to look around the exhibition without watching much of the dancing because we had to go opposite to the Grand Café and compare the cakes there to those at the George V and the Ritz.
I would thoroughly encourage everyone to spend the €15.50 per ticket for the guided tour at 11am and 2.30pm even without the wonderful Special Exhibition which closes on September 25th.
Looking forwards to your comments,
Check out tickets for Carambolages at the Grand Palais until July 4th 2016. Just the kind of museum exhibition the children will enjoy too.
Carambolages – I had to look it up – means a pile-up in the sense of a train crash or someone playing billiards and ‘cannoning’ one ball into another.
In this exhibition there are 185 pieces, all mixed up, the only thread is that each piece is connected to the next by an association of ideas or forms but at no time does the museum tell you how! It is not structured by artist, country, date or medium, nor are there any explanations typed by each piece giving you any clues.
There is a line of paintings, sculptures and videos and it is left to the viewer to figure out what the connections are and as there are no answers provided, everybody is right! If you need a hand take a look at the video screens in each room which give you the name of each work which may help a little. Some well-known artists are on show; Rembrandt, Man Ray, Giacometti interspersed with anonymous ones.
I don’t know any young children who could go but if you do please leave a comment on whether you or they found the connections easier. The exhibition also has a workbook for children and a downloadable app (not sure if it is in English).
Open from 10.00 am to 8.00pm on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays et Sundays and late nights on Wednesdays from 10.00 am to 10:00 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Pricing : Full : 13€ OR Tarif ‘tribu’ (4 people incl. 2 between 16 et 25 years old) : 35 € (When did they start this !!)
For more information in English : click here
The perfect eaterie in walking distance is the Brasserie le Grand Palais, just hang a left past the Palais de la Découverte, also a good choice of Museum for children, and it is across the road opposite the Aston Martin showroom. There is a smart part with sunny terrace and a large café part with wicker chairs. There are at least 2 menus and the lunch food is very reasonable: bagels, sandwiches and gi-normous hotdogs in half a baguette, cheaper in most cases than drinking there!
Hope you enjoy it.
The ‘Musée National Picasso-Paris’ in Paris is presenting its first major international exhibition : ” Picasso Sculptures “. This follows on from the ” Picasso Sculpture ” retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and is being staged here until the 28th August 2016.
The intention is to contemplate the artist’s sculptures from a different angle through series and variations, casts, reproductions and enlargements all produced from the original sculptures. Featuring over 240 pieces, it is the largest collection of his sculpted work assembled since the Picasso Sculpteur exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in 2000.
Exceptional collections will be presented, such as the series of six ‘Verres d’absinthe’ (glasses of absinthe; 1914), which will be seen in its entirety for the first time in Europe. Others such as Pregnant woman, Heads of a Woman which were cast in cement and just to be even – handed, Head of a Man.
A video explanation in English from the curator of the sculpture department of the museum is here.
The exhibition comprises fifteen sections arranged over two floors. Unlike his paintings for which I find the curatorship completely unfathomable, his scupltures are shown in chronological order – from the very first models he produced in the 1900s through to the enlarged versions he made from sheet metal during the sixties.
An example of his work is the ‘Monument to Apollinaire’ which is in room 5. In 1921, Picasso was commissioned to produce a monument in tribute to Guillaume Apollinaire, who died in November 1918. In 1928, Picasso collaborated with Julio González to produce at least four models entitled ‘Figure’ echoing the Bird of Benin, the artist’s double in Apollinaire’s short story ‘Le Poète assassiné’ (The Assasinated Poet) – it has been described as a “profound statue made out of nothing, like poetry and glory.” All the projects on display in room 5 were rejected by the Apollinaire Committee !
NB : An exhibition dedicated to Guillaume Apollinaire, ‘Apollinaire, le regard du poète’ (Apollinaire, the vision of the Poet) is being held at the Musée de l’Orangerie from 6 April to 18 July 2016.
When you start feeling peckish, pop into the renowned Breizh Café for an organic, authentic Brittany crepe. The ‘complet’ is egg, ham and cheese, there are a multitude of choices of cider and if you have a desert crepe as well the meal will still only be €15. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Come and stay at 52 Clichy. BOOK HERE.
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