Septime Webre on Art and Dance with a Macabre Flair

In anticipation of October’s Vampires vs. Zombies-themed Phillips after 5 event, artistic director of The Washington Ballet Septime Webre shares his personal take one of the more Halloween-appropriate works in The Phillips Collection, Delacroix’s Paganini (1831). Learn more about the painting in gallery talks on “The Dark Side of the Phillips” at 6 and 7 pm on October 4. 

I’ve always been fascinated by Delacroix’s portrait of  Paganini, a glamorously romantic figure. Niccoló Paganini, considered one of the greatest violinists to have ever lived, was a controversial figure in his day and rumors abounded that he was in a pact with the devil. He was even imprisoned for murder. Paganini’s remains were not allowed to be buried in a consecrated cemetery until five years after his death. Delacroix’s  painting captures perfectly the gothic and romantic spirit of The Washington Ballet’s company premiere of Dracula, and our Phillips after 5 collaboration.  In both, mystery, power, and a playful sense of the macabre reign!

Check out The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company and The Washington School of Ballet Students performing Thriller at THEARC in the video below.

Septime Webre, artistic director of The Washington Ballet


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