The early decades of the 20th century saw unprecedented cooperation between the performing and visual arts. Painters and other visual artists working in a variety of avant-garde styles, such as Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Constructivism, and Futurism, worked in the world of theater and dance throughout Europe, creating masterpieces inspired by the explosion of creativity in the performing arts, from the ballets of Diaghilev and Balanchine to the plays of the Russian Meierkhol'd and Futurists such as Marinetti, and operas by the likes of Wagner and Offenbach. It was this burst of integration that led to the formulation of the idea of the "Total Art Creation," (a term coined by Wagner), and enriched both the theater and the visual arts. This handsome volume, published on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid, examines these avant-garde experiments in fusion between the arts with extensive color illustrations by virtually every major painter of the period: artists like Picasso, Kandinsky, Leger, and others, as well as in-depth essays on several of the performing art forms and the ways they involved visual artists in their production.
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