If you walk into the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center right now, you’ll very quickly find your jaw on the floor alongside the reason for its gaping state. Stretched across the entire promenade of the theatre is a large-scale photo installation that has well-dressed ballet-goers so enthralled they’re laying down on the floor, striking poses and climbing up several flights of stairs to get a better view of the massive photograph.
The installation is part of the NYCB’s 2014 Art Series, a collaboration with French street artist and photographer JR that will capture your imagination and have you buying tickets to the next performance, even if you’ve never been to the ballet before.
And that, after all, is the point — filling seats with people who wouldn’t normally go to the ballet. “Exhibiting freely in the streets of the world,” writes the NYCB, “JR catches the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors.”
Here’s a behind the scenes look at how the whole art series came together:
As you can see from the video, the main piece in the theatre promenade — which features all 80 ballet dancers arranged on a massive sheet of paper shaped like a human eye — is actually only one part of the series.
Other images can be found throughout the rest of the theatre beautifully printed on planks of distressed wood, while one massive print actually adorns the windows at the theatre’s main entrance. Here’s a look at a few images graciously provided by Agence VU‘:
JR’s work has always been about more than pictures. He wants people to interact with his work, which is why it is so often displayed on the streets where the entire world is his exhibition and every passerby an audience member.
“The moment I started pasting photos on the street I realized the power of paper and glue,” explains JR. “99% of what I produce is actually interaction, it’s something you can’t own, it’s a moment.” And this moment, currently on display at the David H. Koch Theater, will, he hopes, change the way patrons interpret the entire experience of going to the New York City Ballet.
Image credits: Photographs by JR and used with permission