Between performances of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in the galleries, excerpts from The Washington Ballet’s Dracula in the auditorium, your choice of Zombie Punch or Zombie Apocalypse cocktails, and take-home treats like Capitol File‘s fall issue and a special offer on Dracula tickets from The Washington Ballet, last Thursday’s spooky Phillips after 5 truly turned out to be a night of Zombies vs. Vampires. Thank you to all who came out to start Halloween celebrations early with us!
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
Personally, I’m pretty excited about tomorrow night’s Experiment Station-themed Phillips after 5. This theme is drawn from the writings of museum founder Duncan Phillips in which he envisioned his museum as an experiment station, and we have dedicated the entire evening (as we have this blog) to the concept. Not only will the event include magic by area illusionist David London, but we’re debuting artist (and blog illustrator) Elizabeth Graeber’s illustrated self-guide to the collection. I’d also like to encourage some experimental fashion, such as the inventive D.I.Y. drink ticket necktie that Phillips Installations Manager Bill Koberg sported at last month’s Phillips after 5 with The Washington Ballet. See you tomorrow night! Amanda Jiron-Murphy, In-Gallery Interpretation and Public Programs Coordinator