Fifteen years ago, Susan Gheyssari observed a rehearsal for Swan Lake at Boston Ballet’s headquarters. Former principal dancer Sarah Lamb was painstakingly practicing to perfect her pas de deux, and Gheyssari was entranced by her charm and grace. “She completely resembled the swan she wanted to be,” she says.
The moment elicited inspiration in Gheyssari, who had studied ballet and theater at schools in Tehran and France as well as art at L’École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. “I wanted to bring this character and her emotion into my paintings, so I created my first swan tutu.” Cue the standing ovation: Gheyssari found herself being commissioned to create many more. So began her long-term and signature theme of the beauty of ballet. “With my tutus, I tell a story to evoke the presence of a discrete soul in place of the absent dancer. You still feel their presence and movements in the costume.” Gheyssari unveils a comprehensive tutu exhibit at the Newbury Fine Arts Gallery March 14 through April 4 with an opening reception March 21. 35 Newbury St., 617-536-0210, newburyfinearts.com, susangheyssari.com