And twice on opening night, the tension between audience and performer will be heightened as ballet dancers penetrate the space, performing original choreography set to Bohuslav Martinů’s 1925 composition Film en Miniature. Amid the audience staged by Prager’s photographs, the live audience will “hopefully [experience] something they find beautiful but also uncomfortable, because the ballet dancers will be in a space that people are not used to seeing them in, at a proximity which is way too close,” she explained. “You will hear the sounds of their breath as they dance, the scraping of their shoes against the gallery floor,” she adds, among other visceral elements of the performance.
“I think I love mixing these fantasy worlds and the real world because you end up getting the beautiful right alongside these other things that can be very uncomfortable,” Prager explained. For those of us who can relate to the tremors of stage fright, Prager’s show may just help us face our fears.
“La Grande Sortie” is on view at Lehmann Maupin, New York, Sept. 7–Oct. 23, 2016. Opening reception: Sept. 7, 6–8 p.m., with performances at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.