Couture fashion is one of the world’s most exclusive art forms, and as a result of this it has seen a lot of criticism and sidelining by the mainstream public. Dance has similarly been sidelined mostly because of its lack of middle class appeal. These two art forms are historically significant and aesthetically sound in their own rights, but no one has ever thought to merge them in order to create something new. That is, no one thought of this until now.
Alexander McQueen is one of the foremost fashion designers in the world known for his striking clothes that inspire people all around the world to bolder versions of themselves. The Paris Opera Ballet is similarly known in the world of dance for taking a far more modern approach to the art form. While the Russians mire themselves in the classic traditions, the Paris Opera Ballet produces groundbreaking productions that push the limit of what dance can truly be. These things made these two artistic entities perfect for one another, so when McQueen was invited by the Paris Opera Ballet to bring his designs into their new performance he finally decided that it was time to branch out into new things.
The performance is called Eonnagata, and McQueen has played an enormous role in making it what it now is. A lot of people assumed that all McQueen did was dress the dancers but this is not the case at all. Inspired by the music that was created for the performance, McQueen created designs that reflected the dark, broody nature of the ballet. He also looked at each individual dancer and monitored their styles, creating designs that would help them move in the best way possible and would complement their movements and make them even more beautiful.
In this manner, McQueen ended up impacting the very choreography of the dance itself. In his designs, the dancers ended up moving differently. They were simultaneously given a boost in their performance and a challenge that they had to overcome, because the ballet was now not just about the movements of their bodies but how the clothes responded to said movements as well.
Suffice it to say that this ballet is a work of extraordinary art that is changing the way ballet is done in the world right now. Sylvie Guillem, one of the most virtuosic dancers in the world, looks particularly magnificent in the various designs that McQueen created specifically for her. Only time will tell whether more theaters and designers collaborate to make art in this manner. Art is the sort of thing that is ever changing. It allows expression to be free and liberating, but it also needs to challenge the artists and performers. This is the first time in a long time that the idea of art itself has been challenged in this manner, and it shows an exciting shift in the dynamic of ballet and couture.