Artists on Holiday
BALLET DESIGN FRENCH POSTERS
PERHAPS the full force of the influence of costume and setting on the ballet is "not felt by
she casual ballet-goer until one day he sees his favourite ballet in a new set and entirely reclothed. Then he suddenly realises that what he is seeing is practically another ballet to him. The mood is changed.— everything is changed. Modern ballet, believing that painting and design are as much an integral part of the whole as the dancing, has not often permitted changes or design tor this reason.
C.E.M.A.'s Ballet Design Exhibition will also help enormously in the appreciation of ballet as a whole. By letting the audience behind the scenes it will increase its enthusiasm before the seen eS.
Traditional designs goipg back to 1914 (Le Coq d'Or), 1923 (Le Beau Danube), 1910 (Scheherazade) have been rescued from collectors and modern work like Hamlet. Comas, and The Quest stand together. It is rascal
atitig to see the characteristics of Picasso, Piper, Sutherland, Armstrong and Vanessa Bell emerge 'strong and vigorous beside the classic masters of this specialised art like Bakst and Benois.
Nathalie Gontcharova is represented by Byzantine designs of St. Mark and two angels which were made for a Diaghileff ballet of the Passion to be danced without music but with interval music by Stravinski. Named Liturgy, it was compiled in 1915 but never executed. — (National Gallery.) .REcAusF. the French iive in their LI streets, the its outside cafes, meeting their friends there and talking endlessly in public, while the English gather round the cosy little bar of a shut-in pub and don't live so publicly —so the Prench artists produced brilliant posters (outside art) at an earlier periodthan the English, suggests James Laver.
That maybe. Certainly there is a gay, stylish air about the nineteenthcentury piaster exhibited at the Leicester Galleries that is quite unparalleled its England at the time. Even the lettering is curly and carefree. Toulouse-Lautrec and Steinlen are the great masters of this art and they appear to fling off masterpieces in this medium as though,. they were for the museums of all time instead of the hoardings of a week. They painted like artists on holiday from themselves and their serious intentions.--(Leicester Galleries.) • I. C.