NYC Dream: Adaptation, transformation and genesis

Two years back while creating paintings based on Swan Lake and choreographing dance forms with Tchaikovsky’s composition, I had no idea how my own life experiences will blend in this adaptation over time and create a new form of mixed media art.

The Indian choreographic adaptation of a
short segment of Swan Lake at the Art
Institute of Dallas.

In Dr. Anne Perry’s Transformation and Adaptation class at the Art Institute of Dallas, I did my final project on three layers of adaptation of Swan Lake. The original Bolshoi ballet Swan Lake inspired Aronofsky’s Black Swan as well as Matthew Bourne’s ballet version. Interestingly, the adaptation of Swan Lake in Stephen Daldry’s 2000 film Billy Elliot was tightly connected with Bourne’s ballet version as Adam Cooper, the principal ballet dancer played 25 year old Billy Elliot in the film.

My medieval style painting was inspired
by Swan Lake and Darren Aronofsky’s 2010
film Black Swan. 

Finally, there were my paintings and choreography of a short segment of Swan Lake shown and performed at the Art Institute of Dallas.

My mixed media piece

Two years later, as I was reflecting on my own life, I realized adaptation evolves over time as we blend in our own experiences with our inspirations. As a result, I combined my earlier sketches on Swan Lake with my personal performance in playing the evil wizard Rothbert. The struggle of emulating the characters combined with fights in my own life, with a little help from gravity created a fluid, biomorphic and somewhat psychedelic mixed media piece with dynamic composition.

As I was creating this piece in my balcony, suddenly it started raining. Appreciating the involvement and the uncertainty of nature, I kept going instead of moving the setup indoor. Interestingly, the rain water went under the acrylic layer soaking through the coffee filter papers and created uneven yet beautiful greenish brown patches under an otherwise blue and turquoise piece. The next day, after drying this piece as I was carrying this to the installation space, a blue Jay flew over my head and dropped off a feather from it’s wing. Taking it as another sign of nature, I picked up the dark blue feather and glued it on the piece. It may not be a Swan feather but I was very happy no matter what.  

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