in 100 bc alexandros of antioch sculpted the venus demilo, a sensual curvy beauty that became the ideal female form for centuries to come. 1,600 years later, michaelangelo gave us his david, another masterpiece both artistically and as an articulation of the male form.
although these have held their own as standards in how we wish to sculpt our bodies, there have been many deviations. for centuries, rotundness was valued as a hallmark of richness and status. then, corsets. from there, the latter decades of the 20th century could be identified by their icons in rapid succession: twiggy, sylvester stallone, christie brinkley, arnold schwarzenegger, kate moss…through all, the quest for a wholistic approach towards our bodies has persevered. our ideals now come in many shapes and sizes and the prevailing attitude is about the wellness within.
the new body image is diverse, but the shared value is in a mind, body, spirit balance. in body image, our lead feature, a dancer/choreographer, yogi, lacrosse player, ninja and surfer share their bodies with us as well as the sentiment that their most important muscle is their mind. their backgrounds are as diverse as their physical disciplines, yet their successes are all driven by their individual strengths from within.
doug varone started his career as a phenom of interpretive dance, taking him from plainview to new york city and the world’s most celebrated stages. he may be choreographing more than dancing these days, but his dancers are the embodiment of the art derived from his limber spirit and the flexibility of his imagination. the others in this story have their own approaches to physicality but they share varone’s sensibility, proving that strength of mind and lightness of being are never out of style.
acceptance is another hallmark of wellness—accepting others as well as ourselves. thought leaders in the areas of fashion, design and retail are embracing this in bold new ways, thinking about the myriad signals annotating our attitudes towards what is “beautiful.” ralph pucci, whose eponymous design studio curates the finest in furniture and functional arts, embraces this full bore sculpting mannequins for commercial clients ranging from the avant-garde to macy’s. in a similar vein, spring covet, our fashion story, captures the imagination with a vibrant palette of the widest hues. and fierce fashion highlights the accessories “making a point” this season.
the road to wellness is also paved with diversion. we talk to the director of programming of the tribeca film festival for a preview of this year’s installment. also in film, director james gray (the immigrant, we own the night) tells us about his upcoming the lost city of z. and for national poetry month, we look at cynthia nixon in the emily dickinson biopic a quiet passion. nixon is also starring in a staging of noël coward’s present laughter, mark ruffalo is in arthur miller’s the price and many others are lighting up the great white way, making for a season of old friends and oddballs, all present in our stage column.
so good, [bah, bah] so good!*
*“i got you (i feel good),” james brown