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Ryan McNamara Reimagining Seminal Picabia-Satie Ballet for Surrealist Performa Gala

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On November 1 New York’s performance art biennial Performa will hold its annual benefit party with a reimagining of Francis Picabia and Erik Satie’s 1924 Paris collaboration with the Ballets Suédois on the ballet “Relâche” by fast-rising conceptual photographer Ryan McNamara. The event, titled simply “Relâche – The Party,” will boast “a multi-sensorial experience showcasing the beauty and significance of the Surrealist movement alongside contributions by artists of today,” according to a press release today, and help raise funds for next year’s Performa 13, the biennial’s fifth edition, running November 1-24, 2013.

The evening’s honoree, fittingly, will be curator and art historian Milly Glimcher, whose historical exhibition “Happenings: New York, 1958–1963” at the Pace Gallery earlier this year chronicled the early days of the city’s Fluxus movement and events, which were partly inspired by performances like those presided over by Satie, Picabia, and the European Surrealists and Dadaists.

In addition to live performances of Satie’s compositions and a screening of René Clair’s classic Surrealist short “Entr’acte” (embedded below) — whose title references its original purpose, to be shown at intermission of the original “Relâche” performance — attendees will dine on a Dali- and Magritte-inspired menu boasting hilariously-titled items like “Magritte Green Apples” and “How Many Surrealists Does It Take to Screw in a Lightbulb? (A Fish).” Sated on Surrealist supper, guests will then get to bid on artworks both existing and forthcoming Performa 13 performance art commissions, on which they will receive producer credits.

Tickets to Performa’s “Relâche – The Party,” which takes place November 1 at Stage 37 (508 West 37th Street), can be purchased here.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image: Still from the Ballets Suédois’ “El Greco,” 1924. Via Performa Magazine.)

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