Angelin Preljocaj, Dance Costumes Retrospective in Moulins

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1Dance costumes by Angelin Preljocaj

1Dance costumes by Angelin Preljocaj

Since he first set up his ballet company 30 years ago, French dancer and choreographer Angelin Preljocaj has left his mark on the international contemporary dance scene creating some 48 ballets, many of which have been performed by some of the most famous companies, such as the New York City Ballet (La Stravaganza, 1997, and Spectral Evidence, 2013) and the Ballet of the National Opera of Paris (The Park, 1994, Casanova in 1996, and Siddharta, 2010).

Preljocaj  has made a point throughout his career of blending genres and reaching out to other creatives to bring his visions to life. His 1996 Roméo and Juliette had scenery and costumes created by comic book creator Enki Bilal, and he has collaborated with creatives as diverse as Japanese painter Aki Kuroda, conceptual artist Fabrice Hyber, and installation artist Claude Lévêque.

To celebrate his dance company’s 30th year, the National Center for Stage Costume in Moulins is organizing Angelin Preljocaj, Dance Costumes, an exhibition that not only offers visitors the opportunity to see upclose the costumes of the celebrated French choreographer’s most emblematic ballets, but also highlights the numerous artistic collaborations including those with celebrated fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaïa.

Dance costumes by Angelin Preljocaj

Dance costumes by Angelin Preljocaj

“I seek out a grand couturier when he can bring a personal drama that can be weaved into the dance.” Preljocaj once said before qualifying this by adding, “The collaboration must make sense.” One of Preljocaj’s earliest collaborations was with Hervé Pierre, the creative director of Carolina Herrera, for Parade (1993) and then Le Parc (1994), while one of the most recent ones has been with Alaïa for Les Nuits (2013).

For his dark Snow White in 2008, he collaborated with Jean Paul Gaultier, who gave the Evil Queen a dominatrix-look in knee-high boots and black corset, which he paired with a large train that had the effect of blood on the hemline, while a more sexually active Snow White bared a lot of skin with a clingy white jersey wrap that swaddled her — in an allusion to her innocence.

“For each of their projects, the designers were able to transpose their personal style and aesthetics, while reconciling the constraint inherent to creating a costume for dance costumes,” notes Delphine Pinasa, CNCS director and curator of the exhibition, adding that many of the pieces on display have an aesthetic value that demonstrates the eclecticism of the celebrated choreographer.

Dance costumes by Angelin Preljocaj

Dance costumes by Angelin Preljocaj

Alongside the 70 costumes from eight productions displayed on mannequins, are filmed interviews, photographs, and video extracts of Preljocaj’s ballets, all of which help retrace the story of the choreographer’s rich output.

Angelin Preljocaj, Dance Costumes runs until March 6, 2016; National Center for Stage Costume, Moulins.

First publish on BLOUINLIFESTYLE.COM