[ONLINE] Addressing Images: Niall Billings - The Courtauld Institute of Art

[ONLINE] Addressing Images: Niall Billings

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[ONLINE] Addressing Images: Niall Billings


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Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes in their leading roles as Virgo and Leo in Ashton's 'Horoscope' in 1938. Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton, costume and set design by Sophie Fedorovitch and principal photography by J.W Debenham. Photograph from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  • Friday 15 January 2021
    PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
    12:30 pm - 1:30 pm



  • Niall Billings - The Courtauld

Organised by

  • Dr Rebecca Arnold - The Courtauld
  • Olivia Smales - The Courtauld

In this Addressing Images we will consider representations of mythology and mysticism within the English Ballet. Some of the works we will consider will include Margot Fonteyn’s performance in ‘Horoscope’ (1938) as well as the Ballet Rambert’s production of ‘Mars and Venus (1930); of which both were choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton. Through the lens of costume and set design we will examine how mystical, astrological, and classical themes were explored on the ballet stage, as well as considering how these themes expanded into other areas of visual culture. 

Niall Billings received his BA in History of Art from UCL (2014-2017) and then completed his MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art with Dr Rebecca Arnold (2017-2018). His research focuses on twentieth-century dance and its relationship to constructions of gender and psychoanalysis. His MA thesis examined constructions of queer identity within the costumes and performances of Ballet Russes’ star, Vaslav Nijinsky. His work often explores the ways in which the dancing body interacts with perceptions of physical and mental health. Currently, he is a PhD candidate supervised by Dr Arnold and is researching the development of ballet in London during the interwar period. 

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