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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the {dance} category


Weekend links 284


Les Hanel I by Pierre Molinier. There’s more at The Forbidden Photo-Collages of Pierre Molinier. • Western anti-hero Josiah Hedges, better known as Edge, was the creation of prolific British author Terry Harknett. The famously violent Edge novels, credited to “George G. Gilman”, were ubiquitous on bookstalls in the 1970s. They were Harknett’s most successful works, […]

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Ballet Adagio, a film by Norman McLaren


In which Norman McLaren once more brings film technology to the world of dance. McLaren’s earlier Pas de Deux (1968) used optical printing to multiply the movements of the dancers in a manner similar to Marey’s chronophotographs; in Ballet Adagio the entire dance is shown in slow motion, a common enough technique but one you seldom […]

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Eurydice…She, So Beloved, a film by the Brothers Quay


Another recent short from the Quays that’s yet to be given a wider release, Eurydice…She, So Beloved (2007) is an opera/dance piece subtitled “Film ballet in homage to the 100th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo“. Orfeo (Simon Keenlyside) sings an aria while Hermes (Kenneth Tharp) rouses Eurydice (Zenaida Yanowsky) from her sleep in a suitably […]

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Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet


Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet of the 1920s is one of the more famous products of the Bauhaus movement, a radical reinvention of the medium which encased the dancers in cumbersome costumes. The outfits and stage designs are familiar from Bauhaus histories but you’re less likely to see an actual performance, something that’s possible with this […]

Posted in {comics}, {dance}, {design}, {film}, {work} | 4 comments »


The Devil’s Cabaret


Halloween approaches so here’s a frivolous piece of Hollywood Diablerie. The Devil’s Cabaret (1930) was one of several short films made to showcase dance sequences shot for The March of Time, an MGM musical abandoned by the studio halfway through production. The footage from the earlier film is a short ballet sequence featuring a company […]

Posted in {dance}, {film}, {religion} | 9 comments »


Lodela, a film by Philippe Baylaucq


The soul leaves the body. Drawn by intense light, the spirit discovers its twin self, its feminine side…its guide in the beyond. Inspired by the myths of the afterlife, this allegorical dance piece illuminates the soul’s quest by exploring movement and the human body in new and astonishing ways. An evocation of the origins of […]

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Weekend links 214


San Francisco Sound (1967). Art by Wallace Studio, Seattle. • RIP gay porn pioneer Peter de Rome. BUTT posted de Rome’s surprisingly daring Underground (1972), a film in which two men have an unfaked sexual encounter on a New York subway train. That film and others are available on the BFI’s DVD collection. Related: Brian […]

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Mannen kunst


Landscape II (1994) by Rick Wezenaar. Dutch photographer Rick Wezenaar writes that he’s now in business again after several years away from the field. Among his work there’s a substantial collection of male art photography featuring a variety of nudes and semi-nudes. Some of the models are dancers which will no doubt interest those who […]

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Einstein on the Beach


Well this was a revelation. Einstein on the Beach (1976) is Philip Glass’s first opera, a collaboration with theatrical producer Robert Wilson, and the only Glass opera with which I’m familiar. With a running-time of almost five hours it’s not light listening, and when many of the pieces consist of little more than slabs of […]

Posted in {dance}, {music}, {theatre} | 1 comment »


Balanchine, Lynes and Orpheus


The photo above has appeared here before—it’s one of a number of dance photos taken by the great George Platt Lynes—but its subject has (for me at least) always been the source of some confusion. Since I dislike being nagged by petty conundrums I make a cursory search every so often to see if more […]

Posted in {dance}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Salomé cigarettes


Many food and drink brands are still marketed today as exotic pleasures; some long-running products—Fry’s Turkish Delight, for example—even continue to sell themselves via an Orientalist mystique that now seems quite outmoded. This will never happen again with cigarettes, of course, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see it tried with cannabis if it’s ever […]

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Psyché Rock


Messe Pour Le Temps Present (1967). Electro-acoustic composer Pierre Henry probably wouldn’t thank you for calling Psyché Rock his finest moment but it’s a favourite of mine. It’s also his most well-known composition although most people know it as a putative inspiration for Christopher Tyng’s theme to Futurama. The YouTube version here is the original […]

Posted in {dance}, {electronica}, {music}, {television} | 4 comments »




After a week or so of posts looking back over a century of dance, this brings everything into the present. Eric Paré’s LightSpin used stop-motion photography and twenty-four cameras to capture half a million photos which were then edited into a short video. All of the lighting, which floats around the dancers, is done by […]

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Tamara Karsavina’s Salomé


Salomé: portrait of Tamara Karsavina (1914) by George Barbier. A slight return to the Russian ballet, and another Barbier portrait. Tamara Karsavina danced lead roles for the Ballets Russes, most notably with Nijinsky in the original performances of The Firebird. The pictures here are from La Tragedie de Salome, a ballet with music by Florent […]

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George Barbier’s Nijinsky


An inevitable one this, given the amount of times that George Barbier’s work has been featured here. Designs on the Dances of Vaslav Nijinsky was a series of prints published in 1913 when the dancer was at the height of his celebrity. All of Nijinsky’s major roles are represented although this isn’t quite the complete […]

Posted in {art}, {dance}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


The Rite of Spring and The Red Shoes


The Red Shoes: Moira Shearer and Léonide Massine. Emeric is often too easily accused of basing the principal male character of The Red Shoes on Serge Diaghilev, to which he replies: “There is something of Diaghilev, something of Alex Korda, something of Michael, and quite a little bit of me.” Michael Powell, A Life in […]

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The Rite of Spring, 2001


Now this one is fantastic… Angelin Preljoçaj’s modern dance interpretation is wildly energetic, and, after a century of the music becoming increasingly familiar, manages to return some of the shock value to the ballet. Preljoçaj dispenses with symbolism and brings the sexual nature of the material to the fore, with recurrent instances of coercion that […]

Posted in {dance}, {music}, {television} | 5 comments »


The Rite of Spring, 1970


Another film of the ballet that’s useful as a comparison to the later reconstruction. Maurice Béjart’s Ballet du XXe Siècle show how the music might be interpreted if the original ballet is pretty much discarded. The choreography is by Béjart himself, and for me creates a mixed impression. Women are wholly absent from the first […]

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The Rite of Spring reconstructed


This week sees the centenary of the first performance by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes of The Rite of Spring at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Everyone is familiar with the details of that momentous occasion, and Stravinsky’s score is probably performed more frequently today than any of his other works. Less familiar is the nature […]

Posted in {dance}, {design}, {music} | 2 comments »




Vaslav Nijinsky in Fokine’s Schéhérazade. A print by George Barbier (1913). Happy new year. 02013? Read this. “Taking your measure”: October, 1913. “The elevated sidewalk: How it will solve transportation problems”: July 26, 1913. November 15, 1913.

Posted in {art}, {dance}, {magazines}, {miscellaneous} | 2 comments »







“feed your head”