We change the state we are in from moment to moment. I wanted to put down my feelings to draw my actual response instant to instant
“I have kept this collection of drawings intact as it was conceived. It lives best in its unity. The series reflects my artist’s discipline at the time, 1977 – 78, and my responses to the repertory of the New York City Ballet during the three seasons. The drawings undoubtedly flesh out as my options of ballets, seating choices, materials and the countless variables of the experience expanded. The gift of drawing from life in the theater continues in my art. A great labor and pleasure.
The collection includes 160 – 180 finished drawings with a representative selection from the three seasons.
I conceived EPISODES as a movie of linked images. The movement is the viewer making the links out of the order of the drawings. To prepare for the moving picture I made a fanfold mock-up. Out of the total 17 drawings, I wanted to see if the movement within each drawing could sustain when connected to any other drawing.
This is a favorite. A dancer looking at this drawing said, “Oh, look at the turn-out. May the world turn out for my film
This drawing of Suzanne Farrell is a portrait. Mr. Balanchine publicly discouraged stardom in the company. At the completion in August 1999 of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the New York City Ballet, the docents told me the drawings were a highlight of their tour, and the Farrell drawing was voted favorite. Which confirmed for me a previous comment by a visitor to the studio. “This is how the public wants to see Suzanne Farrell.
Balanchine and Kirstein asked me to put together a sample of my drawings in order to continue drawing the ballet. When the booklet of Vienna Waltzes was shown them, they gave me their approval. I now had access to draw at all performances and rehearsals.
One of those May days when you don’t want to go inside. We all streamed into the theater, taking a single breath. At the close of Serenade, we left the theater, and let out the breath.
Dancers are never still Mr. Balanchine flashes from his seat to the stage. He stands slightly to one side of a female dancer with her hands raised. He raises his arm to adjust a knuckle on one of her hands. She is taller, and her moves on stage are taller. What seems a slight change changes the figure in space.
June 23, 1977, NY
Black ink 8 ½ x 11 graph vellum 18 pages
A photocopy booklet of VIENNA WALTZES was prepared for George Balanchine. 7 drawings were selected to illustrate my approach to drawing the ballet. 3 copies were fac simile; 4 were transferred to clear acetate. I wanted to show Balanchine & Kirstein what I had accomplished at this initial stage. Shortly I received permission to go ahead.
S Again Dance Drawings & Slippers
50th Anniversary Celebration of the New York City Ballet in New York
April 20 – August 15, 1999
New York Historical Society 2 West 77 Street
The drawings in the exhibition are from S Again’s series of George Balanchine/The New York City Ballet in Motion from three seasons 1977-1978
… “ Your drawings really are very lovely. Very inspiring. You have a wonderful way of capturing movement in a still image, what a feat that is! My mind really goes to what the dancer is doing and going to do next … You make me think … wonder … They are like their own dance, each image.
~ Laura Raucher, Archivist New York City Ballet