Surrealist artist René Magritte developed an iconography of ordinary items: unknown males in bowler caps, apples hovering when you look at the interval between the eye and its particular aim, pipelines and pillars that smirk at estimates to ensure they are things or signs. But Magritte’s best trick is what he does with context, just like his level bright skies of puffy clouds that lurk within or beyond united states, or perhaps the flummoxing photo frames that behave as house windows to your globe or irritating, impenetrable walls. These ploys ask us to take into account whether life is one thing we encounter or produce.
Whenever removed of land, ballet is a skill that matches the sensibility of those paintings. It’s an art form that produces our known structure extraordinary through improbable functions resistant to the legislation of physics and a small vocabulary of recurrent shapes. The meeting of motion and surrealist imagery drives Yuri Possokhov’s mesmerizing Magrittomania (2000), the main piece of San Francisco Ballet’s first program associated with the 2016 season. This work, plus two others — Helgi Tomasson’s 7 for Eight and Pas/Parts by William Forsythe — are on view through Friday Feb. 5 at War Memorial Opera House in san francisco bay area.
The noise of rushing liquid starts Magrittomania. Then the curtain rises on a display projected with a picture of the cookie-cutter “raining” men from Magritte’s famous 1953 artwork Golconda. The image attracts a laugh from the market, although fluid hiss of this soundscape is a reminder of Magritte’s mother’s committing suicide by drowning. A man in a bowler cap (the reliably grave principal performer Davit Karapetyan), initially silhouetted because of the scrim, draws open a panel locate a column of sky. Gargantuan green apples — another crucial little bit of imagery from Magritte’s art work — suspend on their own in the air, obscuring the faces of a sudden assemblage of performers. Joined up with on-stage by an array of identically clad male performers, Karapetyan confronts their doubles while they playfully shadow, launch, and capture him.
The photos on stage inherently pose exactly the same concerns that Magritte coaxed off fabric: is the real-world within or beyond the space depicted? May be the body we view our very own or another’s? May we go it? Does it inhale? And it’s not just the choreography that evokes the nature of Magritte: Yuri Krasavin’s music score estimates and perverts Beethoven with the same unsettling familiarity and deferral of definition once the remaining portion of the surreal project.