Kim Cattrall, Stanley Tucci, Tomas Arana, Katrine Boorman, Sir Rocco Forte and Nancy Dell’Olio were among the guests at the London art gallery Contini on Thursday night to mark the opening of Dancing Away, an exhibition of photographic works by Mikhail Baryshnikov.
The party — and the black-tie dinner at The Dorchester that followed — was co-hosted by the gallery, Baryshnikov, and the Italian jeweler Damiani as part of its 90th anniversary celebrations.
The polymathic Baryshnikov, who played Carrie Bradshaw’s love interest in the final series of Sex and the City, called his turn in the show “a scary and beautiful experience,” while Cattrall said she has fond memories of the time spent between takes at Baryshnikov’s New York apartment.
“There was a piano there,” Cattrall recalled, “and I remember sitting next to him, just having a conversation while he was tinkling the ivories.”
The 38 images on show were shot over the past nine years, and they are on display alongside award-winning, one-off designs that Damiani has created over the years.
“I have always been obsessed with photography,” said Baryshnikov, “so for the last 15 years, I have been using it to rethink what I love about dance.”
While many of his haunting, long-exposure shots feature the ballet, the Russian star also harbors a love of street dance. Indeed, he said his favorite shots hail from the favelas of Rio – at 3:00 am.
Earlier, Silvia Damiani, vice president and chief designer, said she wanted to work with Baryshnikov, because she loves the idea of “exploring movement through a still picture.”
She said Baryshnikov’s images of moving dancers reminded her of the challenges of creating movement in jewelry, and of the moment when the two-dimensional becomes three-dimensional.
She also compared Baryshnikov to J.M.W. Turner, the British landscape painter, “who was trying to fix an impression” on canvas.
Damiani added that the anniversary celebrations will continue, and that she will most likely stage a separate exhibition of works by Damiani in 2015.