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Ballet Washes Ashore

Ballet is storytelling without words and the interpretation of music through motion.

This week the Nantucket Atheneum brings us its annual celebration of dance that also serves as the institution's major fundrasier for the year. I'm looking forward to the events scheduled throughout the week, and while thinking the festival I recalled some of my early introductions to the art of ballet. 

Growing up my mother worked for the well-known artist Jamie Wyeth (son of Andrew and grandson of N.C.) and his wife.

This couple had lived lives of privilege, exposed to and a part of high society in New York, Washington and abroad. Through the years Jamie had shared close friendships with Andy Warhol, the Kennedy family and Rudolph Nureyev, the world-renowned ballet dancer.

In my opinion, one of Jamie's most captivating portrait studies is of Nureyev. They are brooding, fluid, and graceful images that capture what I perceive to be at the heart of ballet.

The paintings tell the story of a specific dancer, while ballet itself tells sweeping, often epic stories. We are all familiar with at least the names of some famous ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Bayadére to name a few, but to experience the ballet is something unique unto itself. Ballet is storytelling without words and the interpretation of music through motion. It is something everyone should experience.

I've written about this festival in the past, and it is continually something that brings a great deal of excitement to the Atheneum and enthusiasm to the community at large.

The performances and other events throughout the week will be filled with discovery, and the week will culminate with performances by members of the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the Miami City Ballet. These dancers are some of the most talented in the world and are not to be missed.

To see the full schedule and purchase your tickets, visit the Atheneum's website and let's continue to support this vital island institution.