I have to make a confession - I don't like the paintings of Marc Chagall and I must be one of the few people in the world to feel like this. I quite like some of the many stained glass windows that he has done in churches in France, and in Jerusalem, but on the whole whenever I see an exhibition or a room in a gallery devoted to him, I walk on.
However I found the costumes that he designed for the Ballets Russes an absolute knockout. They are currently in a major show on Chagall at the fabulous La Piscine Museum in Roubaix, a suburb of Lille, north France. Suddenly all those swirling curves and figures that Chagall produced made sense. The costumes are displayed on static mannequins, but it didn't take much imagination to imagine them dancing across the stage, skirts twirling, odd additions like a cello costume moving in time to the music. Pure magic.
If you possibly can, get to Lille before this ends. It's part of Fantastic Lille, which has taken over all the major galleries and lasts until January 13th 2013. The city puts on an international exhibition of this size and importance every three to four years. And there are also exhibits well worth seeing at the Tri Postal, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Musee de l'Hosp;ice, and the Musee des Beaux-Arts.