Dancing with Angels

On February 14, the Phillips and CityDance present a Valentine’s Day Dance Experience (UPDATE: this program is sold out). Three choreographers–Lorraine Spiegler, artistic director of CityDance School and Conservatory, Christopher K. Morgan, artistic director of CityDance’s resident company Christopher K. Morgan and Artists, and Robert J. Priore, CityDance Conservatory choreographer-in-residence–will respond with short vignettes to the themes in Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet on view at the Phillips through May 12.

In this series of guest posts, the three choreographers talk about the artwork that inspired their movement. Today, Lorraine Spiegler discusses Alfonso Ossorio’s The Helpful Angels (1950).

Alfonso Ossorio, The Helpful Angels, 1950. Watercolor, ink, wax, and graphite on torn paper, 22 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

Alfonso Ossorio, The Helpful Angels, 1950. Watercolor, ink, wax, and graphite on torn paper, 22 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

Angels aren’t this otherworldly ethereal thing to me; they are people that you meet. They come in and give you hope, inspiration, and sometimes lead you to a resolution. If you look at the painting closely, you might be able to make out a woman, you might even be able see wings. You can’t make out an angel, but like I said angels aren’t overt. I also responded to the bright white colors streaking across the warm colored canvas, representative–perhaps–of a powerful energy shooting towards us. There’s connectivity in this image, and there’s a connectivity that we all share. At some point, any one of us could be an angel to another. As a reflection of this possibility, Mariana (the dancer performing this piece) moves in graceful, gracious, and unexpected ways.

—Lorraine Spiegler, artistic director of CityDance School and Conservatory

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