The Choreographer’s Process: Dance and the Dream of Realities, Part 2

In this series of guest posts, Jason Garcia Ignacio, one of CityDance’s 2014–2015 OnStage Ignite Artists, talks about artwork that inspired him for the Dance and the Dream of Realities performance at the Phillips on Nov. 20. Read Part 1 here

Luce_Camaret Moonlight Fishing Boats

Maximilien Luce, Camaret, Moonlight, and Fishing Boats, 1894. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 36 1/4 in. Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase, Museum Shop Fund, and funds given by Gary Wolff, the Stephen F. Brauer and Camilla T. Brauer Charitable Trust, the Pershing Charitable Trust, the Kate Stamper Wilhite Charitable Foundation, the William Schmidt Charitable Foundation, the John R. Goodall Charitable Trust, Nooter Corporation, Eleanor C. Johnson, Mrs. Winifred Garber, Hunter Engineering, the Joseph H. & Elizabeth E. Bascom Charitable Foundation, the Stephen M. Boyd Fund, Robert Brookings Smith, Irma Haeseler Bequest, BSI Constructors Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Latzer, Samuel C. Davis Jr., Dr. and Mrs. William H. Danforth, Mr. and Mrs. George Conant, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Cramer, Dr. and Mrs. David M. Kipnis, Mr. and Mrs. John O’Connell, Edith B. Schiele, and donors to the Art Enrichment Fund, 29:1998

Maximilien Luce, Camaret, Moonlight, and Fishing Boats (1894)
The strong, sharp edges of the boats contrasted by the calm, steady water feels like a metaphor for how humanity faces adversity—boldly and head on. Of course all of us face some adversity, but the women in my life truly stand out as they meet their daily struggles with strength and humility. I dedicate this piece to them.

Finch_landscape sunset

Alfred William Finch, Landscape, Sunset, c. 1890. Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 26 3/8 in. Turku Art Museum, Finland, Nils Dahlström Collection

Alfred William Finch, Landscape, Sunset (c. 1890)
The rhythm of the complementary colors depicts the love affair between the landscape and the setting sun. It seemed only natural to create a pas de deux.

Jason Garcia Ignacio, one of CityDance’s 2014–2015 OnStage Ignite Artists

The Choreographer’s Process: Dance and the Dream of Realities, Part 1

In this series of guest posts, Jason Garcia Ignacio, one of CityDance’s 2014–2015 OnStage Ignite Artists, talks about artwork that inspired him for the Dance and the Dream of Realities performance at the Phillips on Nov. 20.

When undertaking this project, I started by researching Neo-Impressionism and the painters themselves. It was important for me to get acquainted with them in order to understand the depth of their masterpieces. I was intrigued to know their struggles, their journeys and the differences between their philosophies and techniques.

I visited each piece at The Phillips Collection, sat with it, and thought about its resonance to me and to the 21st century. A lot of the structure of my work explores the artists’ insights about their own art juxtaposed by my insights. These contrasting viewpoints add dimension and depth to the dance.

In pointillism, the colors are meticulously separate on the palette, yet together they create a mesmerizing optical illusion to the observer. I can relate to this; I want the audience to view the dancers as separate but whole in their beauty.

 

Angrand_good samarital

Charles Angrand, The Good Samaritan, 1895. Conté crayon on paper, 33 x 24 in. Private Collection

Charles Angrand, The Good Samaritan (1895)

This powerful painting grabbed me. Based on the parable of the good samaritan in the bible’s new testament, it’s both haunting and poetic in its portrayal of the samaritan’s compassion. The duet between the two young dancers blends precision and rawness to convey a sense of vulnerability—an emotion that I feel is inextricably linked to compassion.

Jason Garcia Ignacio, one of CityDance’s 2014–2015 OnStage Ignite Artists

Coming Together in Signac’s L’Orgue

Paul Signac, L’Orgue, Cover design for the composition by Gabriel Fabre on a poem by Charles Cros, 1893. Lithograph with watercolor additions, 14 1/4 x 11 in. Gift of John Rewald. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Paul Signac, L’Orgue, Cover design for the composition by Gabriel Fabre on a poem by Charles Cros, 1893. Lithograph with watercolor additions, 14 1/4 x 11 in. Gift of John Rewald. The Museum of Modern Art, New  York. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

The recent panel discussion Neo-Impressionists and Symbolists: Allies and Rivals provided me with a better sense of how artists in the exhibition used poetry and music within their work, sometimes trying to create a synergy of the senses or synesthesia. Synesthesia involves the union of sensation from multiple art forms; for example, one could hear music and see color, or see a painting that evokes music. One of the artworks discussed during the panel, L’Orgue by Paul Signac, is illustrated here. The work combines poetry, music, and visual art.

Created in 1891, the piece is a cover design for a musical composition by Gabriel Fabre—which was inspired from a poem by Charles Cros. Little is known of Fabre other than that he fraternized with the Parisian Symbolist circles, including Signac and Cros. Cros a writer, inventor, and poet, aspired  to create poetry that used evocative imagery and lyrical, rhythmic language.

Charles Saunier, a critic for the literary and art magazine La Plume, commented on Signac’s L’Orgue: “First a melancholy German ballad, a melodious rustle of wind, then the harmonies which…persist quietly sad while the voice dies down. Thus smoke from an altar candle rises blue in the abandoned cathedral. For this melody the painter Paul Signac composed a strange lithograph heightened with color; roses, stained glass, altar candles illuminating a coffin.”

I think this perfectly captures the combination and equality of the arts that Signac created in his cover design; a synesthetic experience that allows the viewer to experience poetry, music, and visual art simultaneously.

Kelley Daley, Graduate Intern for Lectures and Programs