The idea of artists and choreographers collaborating isn’t new. Pablo Picasso worked with Léonide Massine and Robert Rauschenberg inspired Trisha Brown; Jasper Johns advised Merce Cunningham; Isamu Noguchi joined forces with Martha Graham; David Hockney designed for Frederick Ashton; and Sarah Lucas teamed up with Michael Clark. But I can’t think of anything to match the ambitious scale of the proposed collaboration between the Royal Ballet and the National Gallery.
With Chris Ofili, Mark Wallinger and Conrad Shawcross each designing for a ballet, you can expect just about anything to end up on the Opera House stage on the night. But beware: when artistic disciplines collide, dance often takes a back seat.
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Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.