In A Minute! (...Or Two): Ep. #31

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Ep. #31: Featuring Alan Steinberger (and his cat!) on Piano
"The Dancers"

Artists of all mediums endeavor to capture the human form. Remarkable and often overlooked is one such artist: the groundbreaking American sculptor Harriet Whitney Frishmuth. Ever heard of her? Probably not, but Frishmuth (1880-1980), was a trailblazer and singular figure.

Undeterred by expectations of the times, as a young woman she studied with world-renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Almost unimaginable! Frishmuth became known for her beautiful renderings in bronze and often invited dancers to pose for her with musical accompaniment. Engaging the stunning Desha Delteil (the young woman in 90% of her pieces) and Leon Barte (dance partner of Anna Pavlova) as models in 1921, The Dancers showcases a moment of frenzy controlled by two counterbalancing figures.

Frishmuth is collected by many formidable institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) and two of her pieces, Joy of the Waters and Daydreams, can be enjoyed nearby at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, CA.

MUSE/IQUE’s Alan Steinberger crafted this original composition, expanding the union of dance and sculpture with his music.

“I composed 'The Dancers' for the 2016 Pageant of the Masters. My goal was to interpret, by way of odd time signatures and extended harmonies, the joy and sensuality in the two dancers’ pose. I was assisted in the video recording by my rescue Bengal 'Escher', who fully approves of the Stay at Home order, but not social distancing.” – Alan Steinberger