Drawing a Ballet Performance While Sitting in the Dark

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A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine took me to the San Francisco Ballet. Our seats were the best – front and center. No photography was allowed during the performance, but I could draw. So I sketched in the dark. In a small moleskine sketchbook, using a pencil,  I put down the gesture of the dance, the backdrop on stage – sometimes I draw the audience. This time I sketched the conductor. When I get home it’s always fun to see what happened in the dark. I can recognize figures moving in space, the conductor’s face and some of the backdrops referring to Russia.

Shostakovich Trilogy is a ballet about choreographer Alexei Shostakovich’s experience living in Russia under Stalin, as well as experiences he had later in life. References to these periods in Russian history are reflected in many of the production’s design elements. These references can be found in the use of the revolutionary red and the hammer and sickle in the backdrop.

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12 thoughts on “Drawing a Ballet Performance While Sitting in the Dark

  1. How exciting to have such good seats at the ballet! Your little mole skin sketch book must be full of many memories. Your ability to sketch in the dark is really fun. You don’t want to see what I sketch with lights on, let alone in the dark. 🙂

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  2. As much as I love these drawings, I also love the idea of you making them – i remember your jazz sketches too which I loved the same way. The mood of the evening really leaps off the page!

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