Monday, June 10, 2013

Sunday in DC

Brookland Metro station view changed dramatically when this new 5 story building with the name was built in what used to be a green field edged with white pine trees. 

 We decided to go downtown to the National Gallery of Art for an art history lecture at 2 PM and have lunch and see the installation of "one million bones" on the mall next to the gallery. I noticed the news of this anti genocide project via face book friend who works at the gallery and posted photos of the boxes of bones being unpacked last Thursday. He had this link describing the project which is traveling around to draw support to stop genocide.
 I wanted to see it all spread out myself and get some photos. It was strangely unmoving for me and we quickly lost interest and went towards the Gay Pride street festival... and then decided that funnel cakes and rock music wasn't all that appealing and ducked into NGA's east wing to see what was happening before our lecture began.

Much to my delight and surprise the Washington Ballet was there performing in the atrium of the East wing for a free concert of dance to illuminate and complement the current exhibition of

Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music

We also ran into a friend who had ducked in to see the last day of Albrecht Dürer's prints watercolors and drawings. He scurried away commenting about the big crowds... and there was one gathered around the gallery watching the dancers. I rushed over to see what we could see of the dancing. There was a gathering of many standing guests behind a number of rows of seated people. We had to bob back and forth to see the dancers over tall and short heads. It was lovely anyway. I snapped a few photos of them dancing a piece to music by Philip Glass wrote for the film The Hours a 11 years ago in a 20 minute dance called Wonderland. 
The corps of men danced in nude colored costumes that showed off their amazing muscular development which is what brought my camera out. 

couples rolled over and under each other in near perfect unison The center couple was doing different movement not out of sync. 

Final tableau forming for the end of the dance. 
Once the dancers finished it was time to go to the Art history lecture. It turned out to be just as wonderful. Ross King was there to tell us all about his best selling book of stories that illuminate the painting of Leonardo Di Vinci's Last Supper the accidental master piece painted near Milan Italy in 1494-7 it was the painting that made him a famous artist and he was in his late life years for a  Renaissance era man he had just passed his 40th birthday! The fresco began to disintegrate before he died in 1519 because he didn't do it in the right way but painted on top of the raw plaster. Anyway it was a fun day that finished in the garden cafe for late lunch then a walk through the lovely Smithsonian butterfly garden near by. Days downtown at the National gallery and other museums of art are one of my very favorite things about living in Washington DC. 

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