Wednesday, September 18, 2013

En Vouge/En Pointe Ballet Fashion Show

Last Saturday, I attended the Ballet Memphis Fashion Show and season kickoff:  En Vogue/En Pointe.  Billed as the "marriage of all things dance to the world of fashion, design and beauty" it sounded right up my alley!

I had previously attended a spark! conversation at Crosstown Arts about the intersection of fashion and costume design with the world of performance.   It was so interesting to see photographs of old costumes, learn about historic couture and dance collaborations, and hear about the relationship between costume and movement.

(For those interested, spark! conversations "happen the second Thursday of the month at Crosstown Arts and features keynote speakers from both inside and outside of Memphis, moderators who are experts in their field and topics as varied as the arts itself.  Each spark typically lasts one hour and you're encouraged not only to participate in the conversation with your presence and your questions, but in the topic selection as well.")

Costume design illustrations by Ballet Memphis Wardrobe Supervisor, Bruce Bui

En Point/En Vogue was held in the studio space of Ballet Memphis.  The audience was located on elevated seating around a center "runway."  The show featured chronological presentation of works beginning in the 1800s and 1900s (Swan Lake, The Rite of Spring, Scheherazade, Romeo and Juliet) and progressed through some of the most recent, original works performed by Ballet Memphis.   Dancers showcasing unique costumes danced quick portions from each of the featured shows.  Every minute or so, a new dance and new costume would be featured (I jokingly referred to it as ballet for people with dance A.D.D).  It was a really interesting concept for a show--I loved how close the dancers were to the audience and could have watched the talented dancers all night long!

Dancers performed to a packed house on the "runway"

Several pieces, like these costumes from the Nutcracker, were displayed on mannequins allowing for a better appreciation of the costume details

Great to run into Memphis Fashion Week model, Riley Nicholson

Ziggy Mack, Memphis Fashion Week photographer with Kendall Britt,  Ballet Memphis dancer and curator of the En Pointe/En Vogue show, and Riley Nicholson

My good-looking "dates:" my brother and sister-in-law.  Don't they look mysterious?  Thank you, theatrical lighting!

I can't wait to catch the next Ballet Memphis performance, The River Project 2, October 19-27!
"Three river-inspired world premiere works...reflect the wonder of our famous natural and cultural resource.  From the Mississippi headwaters to the gateway to the West and all places in between, Milwaukee choreographer Petr Zahradnicek, our own Julie Niekrasz and San Francisco choreographer Julia Adam explore new territory on the stage."

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