Over the past year, pop surrealist Mark Ryden has tackled an unlikely new medium: ballet. Ryden designed the sets and costumes for the new American Ballet Theatre production “Whipped Cream.” The so-called “two-act confection” is based off the Richard Strauss-penned libretto “Schlagobers,” which was first performed in 1924 by the Vienna State Opera.The show kicks off on March 15 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
Ryden collaborated with beloved choreographer Alexei Ratmansky on the show. The official description for the show says the narrative follows “a young boy who overindulges at a Vienna pastry shop and falls into a surreal delirium.” Ryden himself was last featured on HiFructose.com here. Ryden was also part of “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose,” which now runs at Akron Art Museum.
“Whipped Cream” next travels to the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City in May. Ryden has dipped his toes into other artforms in the past: In 2014, he released the record The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell. The compilation featured several performers offering a different rendition of the same song, “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two).” Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Tyler the Creator, Everlast, Nick Cave, Danny Elfman, Mark Mothersbaugh, Weird Al Yankovic, Katy Perry, and others contributed.