It couldn’t have been choreographed any better. With the New York City Ballet’s (NYCB’s) annual summer residency kicking off at the Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, July 16, just across town, ballet-lovers will be able to enjoy an exhibit featuring an array of dance-themed art.
On Friday, July 19, Eden Compton Studio & Gallery will be officially unveiling its specially curated Dance Into Summer exhibit, which features the pastel and oil works of nationally and locally recognized artists Corey Pitkin, Rita DiCaprio and Saratoga Dance owner Leslie Roy-Heck. The exhibit also features works by internationally renowned artist Helen Frank, whose paintings can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York City. The exhibit, which runs through August 6, will focus on the intersection of Saratoga’s vibrant arts scene and reverence for ballet.
Eden Compton, the gallery’s curator, says the idea for the exhibit sprang from her involvement in painting sets for the Saratoga City Ballet‘s recent performance of The Nutcracker. “In terms of performance art and visual art, ballet is kind of the ultimate art form,” Compton says. “It’s inspired by music; it’s so beautiful to see the visual expression that goes along with the music, and for an artist to see those kinds of lines and color…they all support one another. There’s a long tradition of having visual arts in ballet.” Compton will exhibit sketches and paintings inspired by the students of Saratoga City Ballet and the school at The National Museum of Dance at the show.
While works by Frank will be the major draw, Compton will also be displaying works by local artists such as Leslie Roy-Heck, who began her career as a dancer with the NYCB and later moved to Saratoga. Roy-Heck retired from her career as a soloist, after having trained under George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and performed in more than 80 ballets for the company. After settling in Saratoga, Roy-Heck opened Saratoga Dance, a store for all things ballet and dance. In working with renowned dance-wear company Capezio and with the NYCB during its summer residencies in Saratoga, Roy-Heck discovered a love of textiles, brought to life in her encaustic paintings, a type using hot wax, which is the artist’s preferred medium. Many of her pieces are inspired by costumes designed by Barbara Karinska, which Roy-Heck performed in during her tenure with the NYCB. Some of Roy-Heck’s encaustic paintings, including those inspired by costumes for Balanchine’s ballet, Jewels, will be displayed in the exhibit.
Back on July 13, Eden Compton hosted a preview party for Dance Into Summer, and the 19th’s official opening and public reception will take place from 5:30-8:30pm. The event will include live music and dance performances by local modern dancer Mahogany and recent Skidmore grad Hannah Haines.