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Cultural Cocktail Hour heads to San Francisco

A splash of ballet and a dash of Marie Antoinette. Shaken, not stirred.

Your pre-Christmas Cultural Cocktail 

by Leticia Marie Sanchez


Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance. de Young Museum

Closes February 17,

You live as long as you dance,” declared Rudolf Nureyev. The exhibition at the De Young Museum is a testament to the vivacious spirit of one of ballet’s most blazing stars. The exhibit showcases intimate photographs of Nureyev rehearsing, video clips of him soaring, and even ballet slippers donned by the dancer and his legendary partner, Margot Fonteyn. A close look behind the glass case reveals slipper toes well worn, naturally. One can only imagine how many times Nureyev rehearsed in his zealous quest for perfection. This fearless dancer was no stranger to conflict, including having a KGB hit placed on his life. The world of ballet, including his eventual escape to Paris, provided a welcome refuge from a childhood of poverty and a coming-of-age in a politically repressive state. The exhibit contains more than eighty costumes, including those from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera National de Paris, and Teatro Alla Scala. One of the most sensory and beautiful aspects of the exhibit is a blue scrim, behind which costumes seem to float, accompanied by the celestial music of La Bayadère. Reflecting on the life of Nureyev, the words of Dylan Thomas, embody the dancing supernova: “Do not go gentle into that good night.. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Photograph Above © Francette Levieux. Rudolf Nureyev in Apollon Musagète, choreographed by George Balanchine, 1974

de Young Museum. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 750-3600


Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette

Legion of Honor

Closes March 17, 2013

Entering the exhibit, one is greeted by a sixteenth-century red tapestry depicting Apollo, an obvious symbol for the Sun King, Louis XIV, he who so modestly declared L’Etat C’est Moi. This artistic visual cue- you are in the company of a divine being- would let a subject know his place. The exhibit contains royal treasures ranging from a diamond-set frame of the Sun King himself to snuff boxes, Sèvres Porcelain, a tea service, diplomatic gifts from the era of Louis XVI, tokens for mistresses, and a desk belonging to his wife, Marie Antoinette It is fitting that the Louvre’s treasures are now on display in the Legion of Honor, a building whose architecture was based on Le Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris. Ironically, however, the royal collection of the Louvre was started by Louis XVI, but subsequently confiscated when he was imprisoned. Thankfully, our price of admission involves no guillotines, but only a quick voyeuristic jaunt into the lives of the Real Housewives of Versailles County.

Above Photo: Portrait of Louis XIV;  © Jean-Gilles Berizzi. Legion of Honor, San Francisco.

California Palace of the Legion of Honor. 100 34th Avenue San Francisco, CA 94121 (415) 750-3600


Cultural Cocktail Hour Tips for San Francisco in the New Year!

#1. SFMOMA will be closed, beginning June 2013 and lasting until early 2016.

(However, SFMOMA promises to still showcase its art through traveling exhibitions and in neighborhood festivals throughout the Bay Area)

 #2 Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring Comes to the De Young  Museum

January 26, 2013 – June 2, 2013

Posted by on December 19th, 2012

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