We have been to San Francisco Ballet's The Nutcracker for, oh, three years in a row now, and while I find it enjoyable, I felt the need—okay, the DESPERATE need—to lobby for a little change-up this year. That's how we ended up at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to watch the ODC/Dance production of The Velveteen Rabbit.
So while there is a lot to be said about the big deal, big-event, get-all-dressed-up, eat-at-a-fancy-place feeling engendered by The Nutcracker, I found the more casual, eat-at-the-MOMA-museum-cafe, and skip-across-the-street-to-enjoy- some-contemporary-dance feeling much more in line with the way I'm feeling this year. Bonus: two Filipino-American dancers in the cast, one of whom was nearly perfect as "the boy." He seemed, at times, to...float.
Afterwards I coerced my little family into taking in (however briefly) the Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination exhibit I've been wanting to see at MOMA.
Of course I had to purchase the fat exhibition book, and now I'm reading all about Cornell so that I can go back on my own and walk through the exhibit again before it leaves. I'm fascinated by the way assemblage and collage are like a container for an artist's personal fascinations/obsessions.
In the exhibition book's text, the writer talks about Cornell's 30-year love affair with riding the elevated trains that serviced Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and how the fleeting, dissolving landscape shaped his visual vocabulary. I loved all the "bird boxes" like the one above, of course. My favorite was untitled, but described as "Nesting Bird." In it, the bird holds a length of spooled thread in its beak, and it reminded me of...me. For some reason.
December, then, is off to a good start.