Sunday, August 28, 2011

Le Musee de l'impressionisme

Robert Callender wrote a show that takes you through Le Musee de l'impressionisme room by room, with live musicians, dancers, and singers. The show was produced once in NY, so this was a chance to see it in Florida at the Timucua White House (2000 S. Summerlin Ave). Each musical number was based on a different impressionist painter, like Renoir, Monet, Bazille, Morisot, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Once Terry and I got to the White House, I made my way to the third floor to start my sketch. I sat against the railing along with a couple from out of town. Terry went downstairs to open the bottle of wine we had bought. I knew the dancers were from Emotions Dance and I was excited to see them perform. Three female vocalists backed up Robert Callender and the band was talented and tight with two guitars, a sax, Trumpet, bongo drums, a full drum set played by Benoit Glazer, the evenings host, and a wind synthesizer.

Wine wasn't allowed on the third floor so Terry never rejoined me. I got several texts from her where she praised the band. All of the dancing was improvised on the spot. I spoke with dancer, Cindy Michelle Heen, after the performance and she described how she lost herself in the music and the energy from the audience. Her body moved freely without the restrictions of second guessing. I sketched the dancers when they came out in bright red skirts for the Lautrec piece. For an inspired moment I felt like I was at the Moulin Rouge. Durring the second half of the performance, Paula Large sat at an easel in the back corner of the stage and she did a composite caricature sketch of the performers.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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