The Photography of Jeanloup Sieff: An Eternal Dandy

Jeanloup Sieff: Ballet, Paris Opera, 1960

Jeanloup Sieff: Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, 1971

Jeanloup Sieff: Derrière Anglais, Paris, 1969

Jeanloup Sieff, Carolyn Carlson, Paris, 1974

Jeanloup Sieff: Sylvie, Paris, 1985

Jeanloup Sieff: Catherine Deneuve, Paris, 1969

Jeanloup Sieff, Liza Minelli, Paris, 1969

The Photography of Jeanloup Sieff: An Eternal Dandy

The French photographer Jeanloup Sieff (1933-2000) is a legend in fashion photography and one of the most prominent photographers of his generation. The Moderna Museet in Stockholm is presenting the first Nordic solo exhibition of Jeanloup Sieff’s work, which features a selection from Sieff’s photographic oeuvre.

Sieff began photography in the early 1950s as a contemporary of Helmut Newton and David Bailey, belonging to the generation succeeding Irving Penn. In the course of a long career, his photography spanned from fashion, advertising and portraits to reportage and landscapes. His images are often sensual and elegant, and in the 1960s he was much in demand as a fashion photographer, especially in New York City, where he lived for many years. Sieff was awarded several prizes, including the Prize Niepce, the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in Paris in 1981 and the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1992.

Jeanloup Sieff had a huge popular appeal in France, the Unites States and elsewhere. His black-and-white photographs, always elegant and exquisitely printed, became his trademark style. Dancers and nudes were two recurring themes in his works. A trendy man about town all his life, early risers in Paris grew accustomed to seeing the long-haired, debonaire man driving a stylish vintage English sports car for his early morning breakfast in the St Germain district of Paris.

The Photography of Jeanloup Sieff

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Glorious Holiday Buffoonery: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Glorious Holiday Buffoonery: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo has just pranced into New York City for its holiday show, the superb all-male ballet troupe that specializes in twists on the classics, instilled with equal measures of glorious goofiness and technical aptitude.  They are presenting a program of repertory works, which includes the  standout performance of The Dying Swan from Swan Lake.   Every tragic bourrée leaves behind a trail of white feathers; in a last-ditch effort to ward off the inevitable, the ancient ballerina grabs handfuls and tries, unsuccessfully, to reapply them to her body. Although this piece has been performed for years, you just never want that swan to die.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: The Dying Swan

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Train of Thoughts: A Languorous Ballet of Motion

Train of Thoughts: A Languorous Ballet of Motion

The tableau of the landscape racing past a train’s window can be in concert hypnotic, nurturing and energizing. Every display of the scenery alfresco seems to be vigorously animated simply by the train’s speed. The optical illusion of the closer objects appearing to move faster than the farther objects creates a ballet of motion perspective. Power lines along the tracks can seem to undulate urgently, while distant buildings glide by with elegant languor. A train that passes by from the opposite direction becomes a soaring and dreamy blur of motion.

Capturing video impressions now can be as spontaneous as writing or drawing. This animated film was shot with a digital still camera in the “movie mode” and it’s remarkable that nowadays something as small as part of a bar of soap can produce motion pictures. It is a notebook for the eyes or a kind of external memory hard drive with stereo sound, simultaneously both a way of seeing and remembering. The music was composed by Shay Lynch, an arrangement of 15 tracks of his guitar playing, which is an ideal evocation of the film’s trance-like quality, while also leaving you the liminal space to follow your own train of thoughts.

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The Animated Life: Train of Thoughts

Animation by: Jeff Scher

And Deeply Wishing to Further Evoke a Sense of Calm for You:

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A Beautifully Calming Island Sunset

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Trigger Happy: An Animated Ballet in Black and White

Trigger Happy is an animated film by Jeff Scher. The experimental animated film was made with hundreds of objects found on the streets and sidewalks of New York. It began as an attempt to make an animated ballet, but as the shooting proceeded the dance turned rowdy, into more of a nocturnal revel. Shot on a lightbox with high-contrast film, the backlight silhouetted the objects, making them into graphic icons of themselves. The resulting film is a negative, which turned the objects white and the background black as asphalt. It makes the dance almost phantasmagoric. Much of the animation happens by the rapid replacement of one object with another. It’s the after-image in your eyes that animates the difference between the shapes, as one is replaced by another, and another, then another.

Trigger Happy: An Animated Ballet in Black and White

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The Spectacular Chinese State Circus: Swan Lake

The Amazing Chinese State Circus Performs Swan Lake

The Chinese State Circus is said to have a history that goes back 2,500 years. More than just your usual circus act, The Chinese State Circus is a two-hour extravaganza offering a parade of kung fu, aerial bungee trapeze artists, back flipping acrobats, knotted contortionists, spiraling gymnasts, plate spinning unicyclists and breathtaking pole jumpers. Performers juggle giant china urns from head to head, juggle hats, spin plates, balance trays of wine glasses and fling themselves through the air, catapulted from springboards.

And if that wasn’t enough there’s a breath-taking aerial bungee routine, a Guinness World Record of 14 girls on one bicycle, plus an extravagant, luscious set and a costumed performance of the Lion Dance. All of this has brought the Chinese troupe a host of national and international awards, including top honors in Monte Carlo and Moscow.

The Chinese State Circus rendition of Swan Lake is the breathtaking realization of a brilliant idea. This acrobatic version of Tschaikowsky’s classic ballet is a hymn to the human body, a sensational show that reveals how circus can sometimes be more than circus and how ballet can acquire a whole new dimension. The production includes 100 acrobats and dancers, with dazzling costumes and enthralling stage settings. Reviewers have stated that this celebration of power, poetry and perfection sets completely new standards.

The Chinese State Circus: Swan Lake

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