DelcoReviewSummer2017 - 24

By Tracy E. Price, Editor

For the 2nd year, Media has been chosen
as one of the neighborhoods in and around
Philadelphia to be home of the Philadelphia
Museum of Art public art project, Inside
Out. The project aims to add to the beauty
and vitality of local neighborhoods and inspire surprising and spontaneous interactions with art where people live and work.
One Saturday morning, I took the Walking Tour through
Media to view the 2017 Inside Out Art in Unexpected Places
led by Sophie Dom of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On the
tour I met such inspired and delightful people; in particular, I
had the pleasure of meeting William Conville of the Academy of
International Ballet. Mr. Conville returned to Media in mid-July
with Co-Artistic Directors Denis Gronostayskiy and Anastasia
Babayeva. On this occasion, the dancers gathered in the downtown Media business district to intentionally fuse the Visual Arts
and the Performing Arts. It is quite extraordinary to see how the
dancers study the paintings for a short while and then spontaneously transfer what they see into elegant ballet poses that express
not only a statue like solidity but also a flexible elegance to esthetically mesh with the gorgeous art work.
Note: The Academy of International Ballet is owned and
operated by Anastasia Babayeva and Denis Gronostayskiy (husband and wife) who are their Co-Artistic Directors. In 2015, the
internationally recognized and Manhattan based (NYC) Youth
American Grand Prix named Anastasia the Teacher of the Year.
In recognition of this award and honor, the PA House of Representatives, under the leadership of PA Representative Jamie Santora and Tom Killion, recognized Anastasia with a Citation from
the House. View a short video of Anastasia accepting the award

24 | Summer 2017

Susquehanna Bank/Media Real Estate Co., S. Orange & State
Street, Media. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin
Rouge: The Dance, 1890. Dancers (L to R): Marlena Umland,
Chloe Muller, Sienna Truskett, Catherine Faia, Azelie Faia,
Anna Panczner

Here, I share with you photos capturing the fusion of
the Visual and Performing Arts, and the impressionistic
observations of William Conville, Academy of International Ballet.
We tend to think in the traditional mode that classical ballet
and paintings from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) are
elite art forms for a particular audience but in fact they belong
to our common shared humanity. It should be easily experienced
and enjoyed by all, especially in what is known as the public
square. For example, the business district of Media as a county
seat is part of the cultural mosaic of the region. It enjoys a delightful blend of art galleries, superb theatres, poetry readings,
and musicians but so far no outdoor ballet and no outdoor paintings. Suddenly, the PMA's Inside Out regional program shifted
the aesthetic paradigm.
With engaging smiles and artistic energy, dancers from
the nearby Academy of International Ballet (AIB) began their
visit by gathering near the Grecian pillars of the Media County
Courthouse to form intertwining symmetric patterns, and what
seemed to be an endless display of classical poses to prepare for
their visit to each of the paintings beginning with Paul C├ęzanne's
Mont Sainte-Victoire. Extending arms and legs with elegant ease,
the dancers asserted their unique personality within the tapestry
and the traditions of classical ballet. With unspoken movements
they united in each shared pose yet asserted their individuality in
their togetherness. With each movement of supple foot work and
each classical pose, their heads turned, and arms were gracefully
raised as if responding to the music of wistful chords embedded
in the paintings.
Slowly drivers focused on traffic, while busy pedestrians
and others came upon the colorful visit. They paused and stopped
to view a spontaneous cultural experience unfold around them.
Many applauded and took photos. Motorists pulled their cars
to the curb to watch. I marveled at how classically trained bal-


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