This month, the Norton Simon Museum is focusing on blue. Their exhibition, A Revolution of the Palette: The First Synthetic Blues and their Impact on French Artists, explores the use of blue, a hue that was accidentally discovered in the early 1700s. After the initial Prussian blue, cobalt blue and synthetic ultramarine soon followed. These colors shaped the French artists from the Rococo period to the threshold of Impressionism. The show features seminal works that trace the history of this color.
In order to shed some light on blue revolutionized painting, dancers and musicians will interpret their own renditions of blue. ArtistsPlus Productions, a Pasadena based, dance company will perform “Out of the Blue” to live music. This collaboration includes 10 local dancers and 4 musicians, including alumni of the Pasadena Civic Ballet, baroque dancers and local dancers that the choreographers found through open ballet classes.
In addition to dance, the performance will feature live musicians and period costumes. Musical selections include pieces by French composers Jean-Phillipe Rameau, Maurice Ravel, Gabriel Fauré, Ernest Chausson, Benjamin Godard and Jacques Ibert.
“The music comes first for us because we wanted it to be a definite relationship between the music and the dance,” said Jackie Kopcsak, a choreographer and founder of ArtistPlus. Kopcsak, Diane DeFranco Browne and Shauna Goddard Barger, choreographed the dances to illustrate the journey of blue.
This multi-faceted arts exploration highlights the talented artists in Pasadena and shows that art forms can work together to create a shared experience. Kopcsak describes the company as a collaborative and explains how working with people from different backgrounds is a vital experience.
“We decided, rather than only stick with the color blue or the emotions that you could find within the color blue, to kind of use some of the paintings as backdrops and see what we think that the feeling or the narrative of the story might be for each of these paintings,” said Kopcsak.
Experience this combination of painting, music and dance to give the term “feeling blue” a new meaning.
Out of the Blue will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday November 21 at The Norton Simon Museum. The show is free with admission and the museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena. Call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org for more information.