The grit of street art meets the refinement of ballet in a pas de deux of sorts being staged at the Lincoln Center this season. Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, the urban art duo known as Faile, teamed up with the New York City Ballet to create Les Ballets De Faile, an installation in the promenade of the David H. Koch Theater that features images from the NYCB’s archives on a towering series of colorfully painted and silkscreened wood panels.
The two mediums might seem worlds apart, but, as McNeil points out, both are highly experiential. “With street art you really need to experience it in its place, while it's living and breathing,” he says. “And looking at a picture of a ballerina dancing can be really beautiful, but it doesn’t have the same kind of connection as being there to actually experience the moment.”
Faile’s piece marks the launch of the company’s new Art Series, which will foster further collaborations with New York City artists. The program builds on an impressive legacy: in the past, the ballet has worked with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel. And, this time around, the audience will get to take a piece of the artwork home. At two special performances, February 1st and May 29th, (where all seats are available for $29) everyone in attendance will receive a limited-edition, hand-painted wooden block. For information on how to purchase tickets, visit New York City Ballet.