Category Archives: MOVIES

Dance Fever: Roy Round’s Iconic Ballet Photography

I live in a very unusual loft building in New York. A former factory, it’s a 103 years old and many of the current residents, who include an artist, a jazz musician, a toy maker, and, until recently, a world-renowned photographer have been here for more than 30 years.  The photographer, our good friend Roy Round, has just moved back to his native London after three decades in his loft, which also served as his studio. I’m reposting this reminiscence of him from my own blog.

Dance photographer Roy Round with Dog

British fashion, celebrity, and  dance photographer Roy Round in the 1960s

Roy started his career during the World War II as an aerial reconnaissance photographer with the RAF in Egypt. After the war he returned to London as an apprentice photographer with Peter Clark Studios. He next joined a small studio and within a couple of years became an active fashion photographer, working on the Paris collections and traveling abroad frequently on assignment for top magazines. He also became accomplished at celebrity portraiture, photographing Anna Magnani, Paul Bowles, Cecil Beaton, Kim Novak, and Sean Connery, among many others.

Raquel Welch, 1967, photographed by Roy Round

Roy took this portrait of Raquel Welch in 1967, when she was in England filming Stanley Donen’s Bedazzled—a comic reworking of the Faust legend in which she famously played Lust.

One of the best parts of knowing Roy is that he has the most extraordinary stories about many of the greats of the 20th century. If a name like Judy Garland comes up in conversation he’ll say, “Did I ever tell you about the time we got drunk together at Sybil Burton’s nightclub?” Once in the 1960s, when he had been detained on a long photo session, his wife  asked, “Why are you so bloody late?” As you can imagine, his truthful reply, “I was having drinks with Raquel Welch,” did not go over well.

Roy’s wife was the English ballerina and ballet mistress, the late Georgina Parkinson, and it is through her and his extraordinary work first with London’s Royal Ballet and subsequently with American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet, that Roy’s name will forever be linked to the world of dance.

Georgina Parkinson as the Empress Elisabeth in the premiere of Kenneth Macmillan's 1978 ballet Mayerling, photographed by Roy Round

British ballerina Georgina Parkinson as the Empress Elisabeth in the London premiere of Kenneth Macmillan’s 1978 ballet Mayerling, photographed by her husband Roy Round.

Roy and Georgina moved to New York in 1980 at the behest of Mikhail Baryshnikov, who installed Georgina as a ballet mistress at ABT.  (She had taught Baryshnikov and Leslie Brown a pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet for the 1977 movie The Turning Point.) That’s when they moved into my building. In their studio loft and other locations Roy photographed Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Gelsey Kirkland, Julie Kent, Ethan Stiefel, Gillian Murphy, Marcello Gomes, and many other ballet greats.

Rudolph Nureyev photographed in London by Roy Round in the early 1960s

Rudolph Nureyev photographed by Roy Round in London in the early 1960s.

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Chelsea Morning: Tim Button’s Neighborhood

I live on West 25th Street in what is now called Chelsea Heights, though when I moved there it wasn’t considered part of Chelsea but the bottom tip of the Flower District. I have a broad, inclusive view of what I regard as my neighborhood, which for me stretches from the Flower District in the north down as far as the Ladies’ Mile Historic District in the south; and from Madison Square Park in the east (I know, it’s really the Flatiron District) to the High Line and the Chelsea Gallery District in the west. The thing I love best about the area is that, despite the recent addition of all those apartment towers along Sixth Avenue, it’s still wonderfully diverse. I’ve got trees and grass, public art installations, and wonderful burgers in Madison Square Park, which I use as my front yard. And, if I get really hungry, the amazing Eataly marketplace is right across the street.

A sidewalk in New York City's midtown  Flower District in spring

Tim Button includes the Flower District, whose streets bloom with brilliant color in spring, as the northern part of his West 25th Street neighborhood, which has recently become known as Chelsea Heights.

Madison Square Park with the Flatiron Building in background

Madison Square Park, with the adjacent Flatiron Building, marks the western border of Tim’s neighborhood while also serving as his front yard.

The High Line between West 25th and West 27th Streets, looking south, photographed by Iwan Baan

The High Line–shown here between West 25th and West 27th Streets, looking south–and the Chelsea Gallery District comprise the western part of Tim’s extended neighborhood. Photograph by Iwan Baan

The Ladies' Mile Historic District in Manhattan, New York City

Tim counts the Ladies’ Mile Historic District—440 buildings, many of them former department stores, on 28 blocks from roughly 18th Street to 24th Street and from Broadway to west of Sixth Avenue—as the southern extension of his neighborhood. This stretch of Sixth Avenue, from #610 to #650, includes the Cammeyer,  Alexander, Siegel-Cooper, and  Price Buildings.

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What Jerry Caldari Is Doing This Winter

Travel Plans: The big item this winter is a trip to Japan during President’s Day week. We are visiting clients in Tokyo–an amazing city for new architecture–but will also see the sights in Kyoto and visit the Great Buddha in Kamakura.

Shibaura Office in Tokyo, designed by Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA and photographed by Iwan Baan

Tokyo is an amazing city for exciting new architecture. The ethereal all-glass building is Shibaura House, the recently opened headquarters of a printing company, designed by Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA. Photograph: Iwan Baan

Tama Art University New Library, Tokyo, by Toyo Ito & Associates

Another beautiful Tokyo building, the Tama Art University Hachioji Library, designed in 2007 by Toyo Ito & Associates. Photograph: Ishiguro Photographic Institute

The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), Kyoto, in winter

Although visiting the Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavillon) of the Rokuon-ji (Deer Garden Temple) in Kyoto is–like viewing the cherry blossoms–something of a tourist cliche, it is nevertheless a sublime experience. The gilded pavilion is especially beautiful in the snow, as here, and that’s how we hope to see it in February.

The Great Buddha at Kamakura in snow, photo by Jeff Laitila, japanican.com

Another famous attraction we’ll be visiting, and hoping to view in the snow, is the Daibutsu (Great Buddha) at Kamakura, a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha  dating from 1252.

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