David Gryn blog

The Nijinsky Project – Faun by Jane Bustin – Art Night London at the Marriot, London County Hall – July 7

In Art Night, Art NIght London, Dancer, Isaac Gryn, Jane Bustin, John Snijders, London, Marriot, Nijinsky, Uncategorized on 29/06/2018 at 12:44 pm
faun landscape1 copy
The Nijinsky Project – Faun by Jane Bustin. 
 
Art Night London 7 July 2018
An Installation and Performance featuring dancer, Isaac Gryn & pianist and composer, John Snijders.
Book your Free place here
 
The Nijinsky project – Faun
Saturday 7 July 2018

Installation and performance 

Artist: Jane Bustin
Dancer:  Isaac Gryn
Pianist: John Snijders
Music:  Afternoon, variation of Debussy’s “Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un Faune” by John Snijders

at

King George V Room
Marriott Hotel
London County Hall

Westminster Bridge Road
Southbank
London SE1 7BP

Performances: 
6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm
Duration: 13 minutes

Introduction by Poppy Bowers
In 1912, Ballet Russes premiered L’Après-midi d’un Faune at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Eschewing lyrical movement in favour of geometric shapes, its avant-garde choreography and sexually explicit content divided audiences, prompting both outrage and awe. The performance, now regarded as the first modernist ballet, was choreographed and performed by Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950), senior dancer of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, and also his lover.
An iconic dancer, Nijinsky was experimental in his combination of great technical skill with deep, sensual expression. Over recent years, the artist Jane Bustin has made work in response to Nijinsky’s extraordinary formal experimentation. Like Nijinsky, Bustin is concerned with locating emotion within the restrained forms of geometric abstraction. Her pared-down paintings juxtapose panels of oil paint alongside tactile media such as porcelain, silk, copper or latex, to give sensory understanding to historical subject matter.
Faun is a new collaborative work that pays homage to Nijinsky’s tumultuous life. The work comprises of three parts; six table-mounted assemblages made by Bustin, a musical score by composer John Snijders and a balletic performance by the young dancer Isaac Gryn. The table works create a conceptual and spatial framework for the performative components, taking as its starting point a published book of Nijinsky’s life.
Following his ascendency as one who heralded the era of modern ballet, Nijinsky met misfortune. Having secretly married a young dancer, Romola, a furious Diaghilev subsequently expelled him from the Ballet Russes. Failing to recover from the artistic and financial loss of Diaghilev’s patronage, Nijinsky was forced to abandon dance. Suffering from psychosis he spent his remaining years residing in and out of asylums, until his death in Surrey, England. The account of his success and decline is recited in Nijinsky’s biography written by Romola and published in 1933, a single copy of which forms the centrepiece of each table assemblage.
Each book is accompanied by monochrome panels of various media including cloth, porcelain, paint and wood, the fragility of which point to emotionally-sensitive moments in Nijinsky’s life. From tallest to shortest, the tables take the following titles from a chance finding of a 1933 newspaper review that chart Nijinsky’s psychological trauma; Hothouse Plants, Relentless Hatred, Dark Moods, Misfortunes, “I am an Artist” and Romola’s Love. Typical of Bustin’s work, the proportions of the tables relate to the scale of the human body. Here, the table heights correspond to particular ballet movements measured from the young male dancer’s body, who is the artist’s son.
John Snijder’s musical score, titled Afternoon, was created specifically for this project. It reworks the piano piece of the original orchestral work for L’Après-midi d’un Faune composed by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), employing chance operations to unravel its structural order. Developed in dialogue between Bustin and Gryn, with support from Matthew Paluch and Dance Research Studio, a 13-minute dance, made in response to the music, is performed within the parameters of the tables. Combining symmetrical formations with lessening control, Gryn’s movements mirror the untangled composure of the accompanying piano, revealing an intimacy of inner tenderness and anxiety, rather than athletic display.
Contrasting sculptural materials with a temporal performative presence, Faun grapples with the troubled pursuit for artistic perfection and speaks of the psychological vulnerability that is bound up in such ambition.
Poppy Bowers, Exhibitions Curator at the Whitworth, The University of Manchester

John Snijders ‘Afternoon’ 2018
The composition “Afternoon” was created especially for the Nijinsky Project – Faun. I took, as base material, the piano reduction made by Leonard Borwick in 1914 of the orchestral work “Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un Faune”, composed by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) in 1894. For “Afternoon” I have divided the piece into twelve sections, and chose one or two representative bars from each section. These bars were paired so that the piece now contains six structural parts, which do not always follow the original’s chronology. The order of the bars, repeated over and over again, was determined using chance operations. Arriving at a final basic structure, more chance operations were used to determine, bar by bar, if, and if yes, how many notes would be altered, going either up or down in pitch, but not altering the rhythm of the bars. This results in the material remaining recognisable, but slowly deteriorating and getting out of focus until the start of the next section, where the process will start all over again. The six parts relate to the six tables with Jane’s artworks, and the musical process mirrors Nijinsky’s slow descent into developing a more and more distorted mind. 
John Snijders, Artistic Director of the Ives Ensemble, Associate Professor in Music Performance at Durham University.

Jane Bustin, artist, lives and works in London and is represented by Copperfield London
http://www.copperfieldgallery.com/

With special thanks to: Aida Bañeres Argilés, Poppy Bowers, Richard Grimes, Isaac Gryn, Jacky Lansey – Dance Research Studio, Will Lunn, Morley College – Ceramics Dept, Matthew Paluch, Aina Pomar – Copperfield London, Zarina Rossheart – Art Night London, Thornhill Pianos, John Snijders
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