On Sunday, January 1, 2017, Manhattan’s East Side Art Train smoothly waltzed up its sparkling clean, brand spanking new tracks toward 96th Street along Second Avenue in a wedding dance of sorts with well-wishers snapping pictures and cooing about how beautiful the event was. Posing for photos with the art along the walls, touching Chuck Close's glistening mosaic face, admiring the blueprint beauty created by Sarah Sze – the city's citizens were romantically engaged with the new surroundings. Folks hopped off the train at 72nd Street and wandered about as if in a museum. Then they climbed back on another Q-line train heading uptown to 86th St, de-trained for a few minutes to observe the artwork, and then continued up the track to the end of the line at 96th Street. This was such a Qool way to ring in the New Year.
It is but once in a lifetime that a New Yorker will see this:
Trash-free, rodent-free, dirt-free subway track. You could eat off of it – well, maybe not – but you get the point. It's beautiful.
Haglund made a little vid of the Art Train with its special paint detailing as it whizzed into the station. Wooo-ooo-whooo chug-chug-chug-chug – train freak heaven.
And who should Haglund encounter upstairs but one of his most favorite uber-aggressive liberals, Governor Cuomo, who was pretty happy being out and about and among folks who were admiring his new subway. Good job, Gov.
After a fun-filled New Year's Day, we're back here at the H.H. office slaving away.
NYCB 2017 Art Series
How excited we were to discover that NYCB's 2017 Art Series will be a video installation by Brooklyn-based Finnish artist Santtu Mustonen. His work includes heavy doses of surrealism which he believes stems from his lifelong neurological condition called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, a disorienting condition that affects perception that results in size distortion. The artist says that when he closes his eyes, he feels that he is way too big or way too small for his environment. And when he looks at a scene, only one item is sharply focused while everything else is blurred. We can expect lots of color and a full use of the scale of the promenade. Probably lots of flash, too; so, we'll try to remember to pop a couple of Advil before the event.
Art Night at NYCB will be on January 28th, February 3rd, and February 23rd with three different programs being danced. Hey NYCB, what about our souvenirs? There's no mention of our free souvenirs anywhere. No mention of free beer, either. Come on, NYCB, don't mess with what works. Haglund's Dustin Yellin souvenir book from the incredible Art Night installation a couple of years ago is still one of the most picked-up items on his coffee table.
Public viewing (free) of the installation will occur during daytime hours from Saturday, February 18th through Sunday, February 26th.
Meanwhile, we got our tickets for Week 1 of NYCB's winter season and are hungrily awaiting those first performances of 4Ts and Stravinsky Violin Concerto.
We're keeping a close eye on the ABT schedule awaiting the Murphy/Hallberg/Abrera Giselle to appear in black & white and hoping for the much needed changes to appear in the rest of the Giselle schedule if it is to be saved. We need an additional Abrera/Hallberg Giselle, not a couple of dumpster Giselles trying to pose gracefully for Instagram photos. The pairings for Onegin need to be re-thought as well. We don't want to see Hallberg dancing Onegin opposite a Tatiana who cannot think beyond Juliet. Tatiana is not Juliet – got that, ABT?
Now that Hallberg is back, hopefully his full concentration will be in the studio and he will avoid accommodating the media who salivate at the opportunity to make money off of him. We also hope that he's not wasting valuable time penning some insipid dancer memoir about how tough life has been. We can't take another one of those fictional fakes. Regardless of Hallberg's bumps in the road, he has led a rich fairy tale life that few others will ever get the opportunity to live. Suffering artist? Save it, please.
Everybody, please get back to work preparing the art for the stage, not Instagram.