LAST EDITED ON 12-03-02 AT 02:44 PM (GMT)
The ROH website is soon to feature an online exhibition of pictures taken by Mario Testino in and around the Opera House. He is one of the most highly influential fashion photographers, and for many is the master of 'the look'.
Many of us will know his pictures because they feature in the ROH's advertising and publicity. However a review of the present Testino exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in the Mail on Sunday prompted the question in my mind as to whether Testino's iconography was appropriate for a Royal Ballet and a Royal Opera House that is attempting to present itself as more socially inclusive. I don't have a strong view either way, but it is an interesting debating point.
Recently members of the Australian Ballet posed in beachwear and this was discussed on a previous thread. What is a good way to present images of dance and dancers that spontaneously communicate what Ross Stretton in his memo to the Marketing Department described as "Excitement - ecstasy - movement - sensation of the body".? At the Australian Ballet, Stretton insisted on advertising that said "this place is for you as well", and is on record as intending to do likewise in London. The issue is whether Testino's images sit well with that project.
The Testino online exhibition will eventually be available on this page