08/22/19

Hidden Venice: A Love Story In Black And White

Eugenio Novajra, 2017, The Great Beauty

“The black knot of gondolas in the canal of Mestre is more beautiful to me than a sunrise full of clouds all scarlet and gold.” John Ruskin, 1841

Just when you thought it was impossible to see Venice in a new light, La Serenissima sheds her color to reveal her bare essence, as expressed nearly two centuries ago by the Victorian art critic, John Ruskin.

Dream of Venice in Black and White, the third installment in the award-winning Dream of Venice series, continues its intimate portrait of the Adriatic Queen, this time as an homage to the city’s most precious and threatened commodity – her private worlds. Read more . . .

07/31/19
PHOTO: TheSultanette

Some Look For Love In Paris. Others Settle For Desire.

PHOTO: TheSultanette

Happily Ever After at the Palais Royal

Paris! City of Love or Capital of Desire? Choose your poison.

Love has occupational hazards (Think: Romeo and Juliet) and encourages odious feelings like guilt, jealousy, giddiness. Happily ever after requires contracts, vows, and facing a human at breakfast every morning.

Desire, on the other hand, is all feel-good in the moment. A tingling in the libido that makes the body smile. A stranger’s glance returned. A passing conversation ripe with innuendo. Desire requires no conquest, just the taste of possibility. It’s pure pleasure without the mess of plunder. Read more . . .

09/9/18

Is Passion Out of Fashion? The Bad Boy Charms of McQueen & McEnroe.

CoiledCorset 2004, ShaunLeaneforMcQueen.

“I want you to be repulsed or exhilarated,” Alexander McQueen offers viewers of his collection in the documentary, McQueen. “If you leave without emotion, then I’m not doing my job properly. I don’t want you to walk out feeling like you’ve just had Sunday brunch.”

You could say that Alexander McQueen and John McEnroe – born a decade and an ocean apart, pursuing distinct talents, and playing them out in completely different arenas – shared a similar passion. A zeal to be real.

With the simultaneous release of documentaries on both enfants terribles, I decided to chase down the theory one steamy summer weekend in Manhattan. (Bad boys are always persons of interest to The Male Harem.) Read more . . .

11/18/17

Adultery Goes Avant-Garde In Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge Black Tie, Avantgardemusicnyc.

“It’s a dance performance based on the seventeenth century diary of a philanderer!” said Dr. Zhivago (Male Harem member pseudonym). “Right up The Sultanette’s alley!”

I may have philandered in an alley or three but I’m skeptical of multi-media performances. Avant-garde by nature is a contrivance. A cheeky departure from the expected. To be boldly contrived and remain artistically honest is a fine balance and I’d seen enough avant flops to prove it.

But 17c – the latest offering from Big Dance Theater at BAM’s (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Next Wave Festival had my attention. The company has been described as genre-defying (New Yorker) and genre-exploding (The New York Times). You have to love a company that creates a piece called This Page Left Intentionally Blank (2016). Read more . . .

07/21/17
Photo: TheSultanette

A Place Called Home: Is It Where You’re From Or Who You Are?

Photo: TheSultanette

The Cabinet of Curiosities, Steffen Dam, Chazen Museum of Art, Madison.

The Sultanette revisited this pesky question last week upon returning to her hometown, Madison, Wisconsin. You’re shocked that such a worldly dame hails from the land of curds and corn fields? Not only that, yours truly cut a swath from Our Lady Queen of Peace Elementary and Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart to the godless University of Wisconsin before loading up the U-Haul and hitting the road. Chicago, New York, Paris. Any place but home.

So I was especially interested to read the Janan Ganesh Lunch with the FT interview with writer Edna O’Brien upon my return [FTWeekend 15 July/16July]. Read more . . .