Stage & Dance

'Mannish': live music, dance and an art exhibit all in one

Members of the EnVaGe ensemble and Lexington Ballet rehearsed for Mannish, an multimedia exhibition opening at Land of Tomorrow gallery. Members of EnVaGe are violinist Kyle VanArsdale, left, pianist Diana Hallman and cellist Geoffrey Hershberger. Ballet  dancers are Ayako Hasabe, left, Madelyn Nelson, Lauren Tenney and Megan Coleman Stuart.
Members of the EnVaGe ensemble and Lexington Ballet rehearsed for Mannish, an multimedia exhibition opening at Land of Tomorrow gallery. Members of EnVaGe are violinist Kyle VanArsdale, left, pianist Diana Hallman and cellist Geoffrey Hershberger. Ballet dancers are Ayako Hasabe, left, Madelyn Nelson, Lauren Tenney and Megan Coleman Stuart.

This weekend, some people might want to head to an art gallery, go see a dance performance or hear some live music. Then again, there is one happening where you can experience all of those things, pretty much at the same time.

The spirit of collaboration and bringing visual and performing arts together can be found at an exhibition opening this weekend at the Land of Tomorrow gallery in Lexington.

The exhibit, Mannish, will feature the art of New York-based artist and costume designer Thom Heyer and a rare collaboration between the classical/contemporary music ensemble EnVaGe and dancers from the Lexington Ballet.

Heyer has designed costumes for shows on and off Broadway, and for various theater companies, movies and television. His art has been displayed at galleries in New York, Texas, Florida and Milan, Italy.

His work is littered with topics and subjects that don't often intersect. Influenced by both Byzantine and Haitian voodoo art of the saints, he blends religious imagery with figures in American pop culture while exploring gender and sexuality, often incorporating found objects and scraps from Heyer's personal history.

The performance accompanying the work by EnVaGe and the Lexington Ballet came out of a spirit of appreciation and kinship between their artistic directors, both of whom are of Latin American descent.

"I always wanted to get together with other artists and do something in a totally different light," said César Leal, artistic director for Lexington-based EnVaGe, an abbreviation for Ensemble of Variable Geometry.

Luis Dominguez, artistic director for the Lexington Ballet, said, "It was evident to me that he's traveled the world, spoke the same language and was passionate about what he does. It really opens up the possibility of collaboration. The whole partnership has been an exciting one."

The performance element of Mannish will feature works by famed Argentine composer and tango pioneer Ástor Piazzola, with dancers donning costumes and movements meant to complement and unify Heyer's artwork. The gallery's patrons will be close to the performers in this intimate, complex setting. Those involved with the event are excited to see how the community responds and whether it ushers in similar events to expand Lexington's art scene.

"It's something that audiences are really not familiar with," Dominguez said. "To present this for Lexington is quite exciting."

Leal said, "I think events like this make Lexington a more interesting place to live in."


IF YOU GO

'Mannish'

What: Solo exhibition by New York artist Thom Heyer, with performances by EnVaGe and the Lexington Ballet

Exhibit: Jan. 18-31

Opening reception: Jan. 18. Reception at 6 p.m., performance at 8 p.m. Free before 7 p.m., $10 afterward.

Where: Land of Tomorrow, 527 E. Third St.

Learn more: Landoftomorrow.org.

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