Category Archives: Ballet Week

Ballet = 2011. Part 8

Ballet Inspires Vintage

It’s the final post for ballet week! I hope this week has been inspiring… please give me any feedback!

In a couple of days I’m off to Brighton to do some hunting/finding/gathering of some vintage treasures! This week has been much about sourcing inspiration for myself as it has been to share with you.. I just wanted to leave you with this fantastic film trailer from the movie ‘The Red Shoes’ (1948). It has ballet and vintage all tangled up in one! The story goes… A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. I absolutely love the narration; full of memories from old history lessons of World War Two videos! My favourite scene (starts at 1:24) is when Vicky’s lover, Julien, says ‘but you love that more’ followed by a strangely over dramatic sound effect. Made me giggle! You’ve gotta love old movies.

P.S. First video I’ve posted… go me!

Ballet = 2011. Part 7

Movie: The Black Swan

Friday night I finally managed to get along to see The Black Swan at Hammersmith Cineworld. (That place is such a dive!) Needless to say I absolutely loved it, although it made me jump a lot more than I thought it would! The dancing, acting and costumes were all superb.

The only thing I want to share with you today is the use of colour in the film. Colour is usually used in films to evoke emotion, ideas, places, and themes. Well it certainly did all of the above in this film! Both in the costumes and sets, colour was used to show Nina’s (Natalie Portman) transition into becoming the Black Swan. The blindingly obvious part of the film that really helped Mark and I to understand the dramatic use of colour was in Thomas Leroy’s, the ballet director, office and home.

‘We assigned some symbolism to the various colors: black represents the darker side of Nina’s character, white is her innocent side, pink represents her childhood, and green conveys envy and ambition.’ From an interview with Matthew Libatique.

The shift in colours of the different outfits Nina wore really helps you to grasp what is going to happen in the scene (whether it’s something which is going to make you jump or not!) which is what I really love about this film. Slowly, as Nina’s character unravels, her colours become darker and more dangerous. The costume designer, Amy Westcott, did a fantastic job!

An Interview with Amy, she says; ‘They were almost cliché in the sense of pink for Nina and grey and black for Lily. And then we carefully worked in some grey into Nina and slowly worked in some pink into Lily, and by the end of the movie, Nina has some black, and it is more black and grey – she almost loses the pink – and Lily is in some white with grey.’

Rodarte were used as contemporary designers to create costumes which would take the film to another level. Beautiful drawings by Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte:

Definitely a must-see.. If you haven’t yet; pay close attention to the costumes and colours!

 

Also: Another film starring ‘ballet’ staring Emily Blunt is The Adjustment Bureau. She is a ballet dancer who falls for politician Matt Damon. Out 4th March.

Ballet = 2011. Part 6

Best Ballet Buys on the High Street

By day:

By night:

Ballet = 2011. Part 5

Ballet on the Catwalk

Both dreamy and dramatic, Spring 2011 was full of balletic influences…

David Koma opened to the music of Swan Lake. Julien Macdonald’s catwalk plissé pleats in peaches and pinks were inspired by Twenties prima ballerinas. Chloé offered soft, natural hues, plissé and satin trims across sheer skirts and velvet bodies.

‘Balletic influences were sprinkled across the spring catwalks’ Averyl Oates – Buying director at Harvey Nichols.

My favourites: David Koma and Lanvin

Ballet = 2011. Part 4

Diaghilev And The Golden Age Of The Ballet Russes 1909-1929, V&A exhibition

I was first aware of the Ballet Russes when studying for my dissertation ‘how did Chanel define women’s dress between 1909 – 1939’. Taking up a huge space, this exhibition was full of music, colour and costumes. Certainly not a disappointment.It’s now a century since the greatest of impresarios, Serge Diaghilev, brought his Ballets Russes to Europe, creating an artistic revolution that continued for nearly two decades until his death in 1929.

During those years, Diaghilev famously used an array of talent to collaborate on the ballets he presented. The 300 items in this exhibition paid a moving tribute to everyone involved in the Ballet Russes. There were cubist sets and costumes by Picasso, surrealist costumes from De Chirico, jewel coloured costumes from Matisse, along with contributions from Braque.

Taking chronological course through the company’s history, a whole section of the exhibition was devoted to Nijinsky, allowing viewers to ponder how a dancer whose jump became world famous could defy gravity in costumes so heavy and ornate.

The little objects in the exhibition really reminded me of the day-to-day labour that went into the creation of the Ballets Russes legend: a display of ballet shoes, stained and worn; the manuscript for Stravinsky’s Firebird, crisscrossed with pencil and blue crayon; and a collection of Diaghilev’s personal items.

A truly magical exhibition.

Another exhibition to look out for: The Proud Gallery in London has just launched its first ever dedicated ballet exhibition. Fifty Years Of The Ballet, a collection of beautiful images from dancer-turned-photographer Colin Jones. He has captured the life behind the scenes at the Royal Ballet School. Until the 6th March – Kings Road, Chelsea. Proud.

 

Ballet = 2011. Part 3

Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House

Last week I had the amazing gift of going to see Swan Lake! It was really incredible. Last time I went to see a ballet was with my Grandma! Couldn’t take photos during the performance so here’s a few beauties from the web:

I absolutely love the last image; the movement is beautiful!

Our seats! The Royal Opera House is such an exquisite venue.. most people were dressed in ball gowns and djs!

Other Ballets coming: The Royal Ballet and the Scottish Ballet’s new full length performances of Alice in Wonderland (2-15th March and 12th April-14th May respectively) are gathering a serious buzz!

Also, Giles Deacon is designing the costume for Odile (the black swan who tricks Prince Siegfried!) to mark the English National Ballet’s 60th anniversary on 16th March.

Image from Harper’s Bazaar

Ballet = 2011. Part 2

Ballet in the Media

It’s the ‘Fashion Issue’ in this week’s The Stylist. Titled – Ballet, Fashion’s Love Affair.

They are featuring 3 exclusive covers from their photoshoot ‘Fashion’s New Movement’.

Would definitely recommend giving this article a good read: (find it online)

Fashion’s New Movement featuring designers Chloé, Diane Von Furstenberg, Burberry and Peter Pilotto.

The Ballet fashion in Vogue; it’s all about midi skirts, pleats and soft fabrics this season:

Ballet = 2011. Part 1

Ballet is ‘the thing’ for 2011. From the Black Swan to the Spring/Summer 2011 catwalk, it has taken over! This week I will be sourcing and blogging all things Ballet.

Here’s what is NOT to be missed this week:

– Ballet in the Media

– Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House

– Diaghilev And The Golden Age Of The Ballet Russes 1909-1929, V&A exhibition

– Ballet on the Catwalk

– Best Ballet Buys on the High Street

– Movie: The Black Swan

– Ballet Inspires Vintage