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Set Design : Daniel Buren
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Shown: Constance is wearing Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Passion Fruit and Nail Lacquer in Berry Hot. esteelauder.com © 2013 Estée Lauder Inc.
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Left: The ballerina out at parties after work in Paris and Moscow, 2013 Artwork Karen Kilimnik
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Dorothée Gilbert, Danseuse Étoile de l’Opéra National de Paris
CR FAsHION BOOK
DANCE WITH THE WIND
A story about forces of nature. Photography Brigitte Niedermair 76
BRUCE WEBER’s mIAmI HOUsE pARTy Big Ang, Lil Buck, and a crew of supermodels take back the beach 90
Fully recovered from a near-fatal accident, the model opens up about her second life. Interview Gisele Bündchen Introduction Dominic Teja Sidhu 94
A cache of lost film stills clarifies the Surrealist master’s symbolic oeuvre. Photography Jean Clemmer Words Laura Whitcomb 98
ONCE UpON A DANCE
Model Daria Strokous and dancer David Hallberg take a fantastic voyage through the history of modern movement. Photography Kacper Kasprzyk 110
Punk is alive and well in a storied Scottish manor. Photography Karl Lagerfeld 120
mARIE-AgNès AND THE spIRIT OF NIJINsKy The French ballet star in conversation with the long-dead legend of modern dance. Photography Mathieu Cesar Psychic medium Hank Hivnor 124
WAITINg IN THE WINgs
A cast of characters awaits its star turn. Photography Maurizio Bavutti 134
mADE TO mOVE
What happens when dance and fashion intersect? Intriguing expressions of style and movement. Words Sylvia Jorif 138
The history-making young dancer writes her chapter two. Photography Michael Avedon Firestarter Amanda Harlech Words Christopher Bartley 142
DANCE THE DANCE
New York’s BalletCollective brings a subversive spirit to the dance world. Photography Paul Maffi 152
A love story told with savage grace and hysterical beauty. Photography Luca Guadagnino With backdrops by Karen Kilimnik 162
Why does the handsome violinist do what he does? Photography Mathieu Cesar Words Alex Needham 164
A sTORy CALLED “TWEAKIN’” By RICK OWENs Attitude becomes form in these abstract tableaux
Cover photography Brigitte Niedermair “Art of Fetishism” shoe sculpture created by Francesco Russo for Sergio Rossi Left: The fairy ballerina traveling en route from The Opera Garnier, Paris Opera Ballet gala to the Bolshoi theater, Moscow for the Russian Ballet Petipa gala, 2013 Artwork Karen Kilimnik
Right: The Black Swan in the theater dressing room the Royal Opera House, London, or Paris Opera Garnier, for The Swan Lake with Rudolf Nureyev, 2013 Artwork Karen Kilimnik
All Kilimnik artworks courtesy the artist and 303 Gallery, New York
he themes in CR are always very close to my heart. Last year, with my daughter pregnant and me becoming a new grandmother, I devoted my premiere issue to rebirth and filled the magazine with babies and mothers and concepts of renewal. This season, I’m exploring another personal obsession: dance. And specifically ballet. I became attracted to ballet firstly because it is an art that requires elegance, faith, rigor, and refusal. Having taken up ballet in the last two years, I’ve experienced firsthand the pain and pleasure (but mostly pain) in every chassé and plié. Ballet is hard work, and it is one of the last art forms that is done with pure motives—ballet stars rarely sign huge endorsement deals or become world famous. More likely they are real people giving themselves fully to one passion. Quite simply, there is no other way. Because ballet is an art form that breaks the body and the soul. There is a fragility that I find inspiring. (I also think it’s interesting that death is such a common theme in ballet…all of those exquisite dancers facing mortality each night, only to be reborn once the curtain falls.) Ballet developed largely in France, so in a way this issue is also a subtle tribute to my home country. My current inspiration is Marie-Agnès Gillot, a 37-year-old French dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet who is brilliant, beautiful, and completely devoted to her craft. Yet what I find most intriguing about her is that she is not a dainty ballerina. You get the feeling she is a real person who is fully devoted to the sensual world. For her feature, Marie-Agnès conducts an interview with the legendary (and long-dead) dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, who speaks from beyond the grave about sex and seduction, life and death. A star of today paired with a mythic talent of the past…this is everything I love. Elsewhere in the magazine we uncover a new generation of dancers who interpret tradition in wild and wonderful ways. Like the young Ukrainian-born Sergei Polunin, who, with his ability to leap meters into the air, has been called the Nijinsky of today and is photographed for us by the director Gus Van Sant. Throughout the issue you’ll find new works by Karen Kilimnik, one of my favorite artists and also a fan of ballet. It feels like a dream to find myself in her world, which is filled with fantasy and a certain sincere magic. Of course you’ll also find Spring fashion, dancing, jumping, gliding, and jetéing across every page. By the end, you yourself may be inspired to go en pointe. But even if you are not, I hope you close this issue with an admiration for those who do. Simply for the love of it.
Photography Brigitte Niedermair 64
Sui He wears Antique silk kimono and vintage obi from KIMONO HOUSE
Sui wears Custom rice paper kimono from KIMONO HOUSE Comb LALIQUE Fragrance VALENTINO Valentina Assoluto
Soo Joo wears Skirt LOUIS VUITTON Sui wears Kimono underwear from KIMONO HOUSE
Soo Joo (front) wears Top and pants CÃ‰LINE Sui (back) wears Sui wears PinKimono (in hair)from KIMONO HOUSE LYDIA COURTEILLE OnTOM nails,FORD CHANEL On lips, Lip Color Le VernisShine Nail in Colour in Emprise Chastity
Soo Joo wears Clothing RICK OWENS Shoes JEN KAO
Ring DIOR FINE JEWELRY
Soo Joo wears Top HUGO Sui wears Kimono KIMONO HOUSE On hair, KÃ‰RASTASE Chroma Cristal
Soo Joo Park wears Dress THEYSKENSâ€™ THEORY All socks (throughout) from KIMONO HOUSE
Soo Joo wears Top and pants HERMÃ¨S Sui wears Kimono from KIMONO HOUSE
Soo Joo wears Top HUGO Sui wears Kimono from KIMONO HOUSE On hair, KÃ‰RASTASE Chroma Cristal
Sui wears Kimono and obi from KIMONO HOUSE Makeup KABUKI for Make Up For Ever Hair AKKI Manicure Mar y Soul for CoverGirl Special thanks Yumiko at Kimono House
From left: Alessandra Ambrosio wears Swimsuit KARLA COLLETTO Earrings DOLCE & GABBANA Big Ang wears Swimsuit KARLA COLLETTO Earrings (throughout) FARAONE MENNELLA Rings her own Irina Shayk wears Bikini top PRISM Briefs OMO NORMA KAMALI Earrings DOLCE & GABBANA
Irina wears Sweater MARC JACOBS Bra (underneath) ERES Skirt ALTUZARRA Earrings DOLCE & GABBANA
Clark Bockelman wears Briefs CALVIN KLEIN UNDERWEAR
Big Ang wears Swimsuit MICHAEL KORS Shoes GUCCI
The leg of Big Angâ€™s husband, Neil Murphy, with her 4-year-old grandson Salvatore
Kiara Kabukuru, Irina, and Alessandra wear Tops COMME DES GARÇONS PLAY Skirts WOLFORD Big Ang wears Top AGNÈS B. Skirt WOLFORD Lil Buck wears Clothing and accessories his own
BIG ANG The Mae West of today is a fabulously bawdy broad from Staten Island and the star of VH1’s Mob Wives, the wildly successful reality show that draws over half a million viewers every Sunday night. The cult series has made Angela Raiola an icon—of nightlife, of excess, of working-class wit, of Italian-American charm. And it has led to her own eponymous spin-off, as well as Bigger Is Better: Real Life Wisdom from the No-Drama Mama, a book of rules to live by that covers topics from snitching to sex, food to fake tits, no-good lovers to family, friendship, decorating, and drinking. (She is also the owner of a local bar, the Drunken Monkey.) Last October, when Staten Island bore the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, Ang organized several high-profile relief efforts, raising as much as $25,000 a night. “Whenever there is a storm,” she says, “me and my family stick together.” –Christopher Bartley 81
This spread: Big Ang wears Top AGNÈS B. Skirt WOLFORD Kiara, Irina, and Alessandra wear Tops COMME DES GARÇONS PLAY Skirts WOLFORD Belts vintage Clark wears Tights CAPEZIO Lil Buck wears Clothing and accessories his own
Alessandra wears Top MARC JACOBS Swimsuit (underneath) PRISM Skirt THEYKENSâ€™ THEORY Belt vintage
Lil Buck wears Dress T BY ALEXANDER WANG Shoes his own
LIL BUCK Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, the king of “jook” dancing is able to twist and contort his body in myriad ways, combining the “popping” movements of breakdancing with the grace of miming and ballet. Buck’s explosive talent has lead to high-profile attention—he performed with Madonna on her 2012 tour and taught a class at Manhattan’s Alvin Ailey. Meanwhile, a YouTube clip of him performing The Swan with virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma continues to rack up views and take breaths away. –CB 85
This page top: Irina wears Top MARC JACOBS Bra (underneath) ERES Skirt ALTUZARRA Earrings DOLCE & GABBANA Michel Vidal wears Swimsuit CALVIN KLEIN This page bottom from left: Big Ang wears Sweater ALEXANDER WANG Pants RALPH LAUREN COLLECTION Sunglasses LINDA FARROW Irina wears Dress CÉLINE Sunglasses WESTWARD LEANING Kiara wears Top and pants TOM FORD Cuffs CÉLINE Sunglasses PRISM Alessandra wears Dress and choker GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI Sunglasses PRISM
Alessandra wears Skirt THEYSKENSâ€™ THEORY Belt vintage
CARRIE THE DANCING DOG YouTube sensations tend to be high on shock value and low on talent, but this eight-year-old golden retriever from Santiago, Chile, no doubt has a gift. Trained by owner José Fuentes to dance merengue, salsa, and cumbia, all on two legs, Carrie has garnered over 15 million views on the site. She has also appeared on David Letterman and Wendy Williams, and her jawdropping ability has earned her the Animal Planet title of Most Talented Animal in the World—a designation that remains most uncontested. –CB 88
Irina wears Top KENZO Earrings DOLCE & GABBANA Fragrance DONNA KARAN Woman Eau de Parfum
THE sUpERmODEL EmERGED fROm A NEAR-fATAL ACCIDENT wITH HER pRIORITIEs sHARpENED AND HER LIfE AffIRmED Interview GIsele Bündchen Introduction domInIc Teja sIdhu After a meeting with Tom Ford in the late ’90s catalyzed her rise to the top of the industry, the supermodel and muse Kiara Kabukuru ruled as one of the most highly sought after faces of the decade. From the beginning, she brought forth a new kind of persona: full of wildness and mercurial intensity, pure impulse inflected with an immaculate edge. She represented an effortless convergence of grace, sex, and nature—and as a result found astounding success. Then, at the height of her career, Kiara experienced a reversal of fortune when in the spring of 2000 she was run over by an 18-wheeler—a devastating, near-death experience that set her on a trajectory of awakening. Now fully recovered and with a new depth, she is returning to fashion and setting her sights on film. Kiara was born Alice Kabukuru, in Kampala, Uganda, at a time of pronounced political unrest, to Moses Kabukuru, a 30-year-old self-made entrepreneur, and Erinah Kasabiti, a teenage country girl and one of the oldest of 16 siblings. Moses, the son of struggling cattle farmers, was impassioned about leaving the village and as a young man took a job as a janitor at Makere University, a prestigious tech school. He educated himself by listening in on classes and soon established a string of small businesses: first a rubber stamp company, then a car rental, then a dry cleaner. He ultimately acquired a lucrative printing press, called Sunrise, and within a decade had amassed a personal wealth equivalent to one million U.S. dollars—at the time a veritable fortune—establishing himself as one of Uganda’s wealthiest men. Moses had been funding the National Resistance Movement, a rebel group he believed could one day seize power and stabilize Uganda. As the country’s political unrest escalated, the entire family, including 6-year-old Alice, was put on an active wanted-dead list. The Sunrise Press was burned to the ground, all of the family’s money was seized, and Moses’s brother Gouma was killed. The Kabukurus went from a life of war-torn Technicolor opulence to one of complete vulnerability. Moses and Erinah managed to flee the country1 by hiding in the steward unit of an airplane headed for London, and then they emigrated to Los Angeles. Alice and her siblings were smuggled into Kenya and lived in hiding there for a year. Eventually, with the help of Amnesty International, a friend in the U.N., and a church in Granada Hills, the siblings escaped to London and were later reunited with their parents, in California. “We boarded the plane in the morning in Kampala and it was still day when we got to London,” says Kiara. “I remember feeling like I stepped out of color and into a black-and-white world. When we arrived in Los Angeles, the night finally fell.” It was in this turbulence of civic and personal chaos, with the imminence of mortality and the lack of solid ground or the gravity of home, that Alice was confirmed. Finding herself in the strange-land of America, teenage Alice supported herself with odd jobs like babysitting, braiding hair, and cleaning the local church. At 16 she was approached by photographer Bill Bodwell, who asked if she might consider modeling. For about a year Bodwell photographed her every week, sending her to all the local agencies, and she was eventually signed by Nina Blanchard. Alice was renamed Kiara, and she quickly landed a Coca-Cola commercial and a highpaying Clinique ad job that would sustain her for the next several years. At the behest of a new agent she flew to London to walk in a Gucci charity show, where she met Tom Ford. He immediately cast her as a face of Gucci with an exclusive contract. Soon after, she landed on the cover of American Vogue and was featured on the runways of John Galliano, Versace, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, and Chanel. She secured a coveted beauty contract with L’Oréal. And she was an editorial star, posing regularly for the foremost photographers of the time.
Her success was unencumbered—until the accident that shifted the course of her life. Now, after a complete and life-affirming recovery, she speaks with friend Gisele Bündchen about the resilience of the body and the possibility of character. GISELE BüNDCHEN We have been friends for 16 years now—like half of my life—and I remember when you had your accident and I arrived to the hospital bracing myself for the devastation. And I will never forget you sitting up in your bed smiling with all your front teeth missing, and I thought to myself only you would have this reaction. I really feel this accident became a portal for you into yourself. KK I remember feeling grateful. I really thought it was the end, and when it wasn’t I felt really lucky to be alive. It also gave me access to all the hurt I was carrying. I was surprised to find that I was upset about my childhood, which was filled with the violence of war and of the domestic variety. And you know me, I am not a big crier, but I cried for months. Maybe it’s my inquisitiveness and fascination with the psyche, but I chose to get to the bottom of it, and at times I felt so lost having dug all this stuff up. But something kept me going, I believe my faith that I would find my purpose through this mining. GB And you look amazing. You would never know you had an accident. You have no scars and I think you look better then ever. KK The physical healing was nothing short of miraculous. GB Do you feel you now know your purpose? KK I believe my purpose is forgiveness and unconditional love, to transcend all these traumatic events in my life. No matter what I’m doing, the question is always, How can I be unconditional love in this moment. GB And what does that mean for you? KK Well, first it starts with forgiveness and unconditional love for myself. So when I hear a discouraging voice pop into my head, I send it love, because I believe everything wants to be loved and accepted, and the more I can do it for myself, the more I can do it in the world. Film for me is a powerful medium for this. And acting allows you to live in all these different points of view, some that may be the complete opposite of your own, and to really go there I think you must suspend judgment while you linger in character. After that you find the humanity in anyone. GB I know a few years ago you went back to Uganda to document your family history. What was it like now, as an adult? KK That trip was sensory overload for me. I learned that my greatgrandfather chose to die of starvation, letting my great-grandmother and grandfather have the little food they had. This was the time of the 50-year famine. My grandfather then went on to have 16 children. I have 60 first cousins on my mom’s side, and my grandfather is 113 this year. So my great-grandfather’s sacrifice affected a lot of people. The most important thing I took away from that was how many people lived, died, struggled, sacrificed, and hustled for me to be here. I left feeling very lucky. GB What’s the name of your tribe? KK The Banyankole. It’s a nomadic tribe of cattle herders that have settled the length of the Nile. The Tutsi and Masai are also part of the original bloodline. GB Wow, so cool! One day I want to come visit you there. KK You are most welcome. You will be received by dancing villagers. It’s kind of like Brazil in that everything is always on the verge of erupting into a big dance party. Life there is like a dance. GB Sometimes it’s a like a samba, and other times like a slow dance. KK Sometimes a rave, and sometimes a two-step.
Right: Kiara wears Dress and shorts DIOR
Makeup AARON DE MEY Makeup (for Kiara Kabukuru) MARY GUTHRIE Hair AKKI Hair (for Kiara Kabukuru) SARA BEARSS Manicure Donna D. using Chanel BeautĂŠ Choreographer Richard Amaro Props Dimitri Levas Production Little Bear Inc. Production coordinator Dawn Boller Paper flowers by Eloise Corr Danch
© Hélène Clemmer-Heidsieck
The arTisT’s mosT ouTré observaTions abouT life, deaTh, sex, and religion coalesce in a recenTly surfaced cache of exclusive sTills from a losT 1964 film
Photography JEAN CLEMMER Words LAURA WHITCOMB 94
climate in Spain during the dictatorship of Franco, a strict Catholic. The artist directed a film in Port Lligat, entitled Le Divin Dalí, that was destroyed in a fire shortly after it was shot. But recently a number of images that document its making have resurfaced. Taken by the artist’s close friend and collaborator, Swiss photographer Jean Clemmer, the photos show Dalí directing an especially enlightening scene, one that illustrates how he used religious themes to link the ancient gods to modern times. The Surrealists believed myth was inherited through consciousness, and Dalí constantly invoked classical mythology in his work. Greatly affected by the dawn of the atomic age, Dalí portrayed modern science as a continuation of the occult, investing his paintings with themes of atomic fusion and human genetics. His images of religious rapture depict the unseen force of creation that he believed harnesses all of life, a consciousness with which he felt scientists had lost touch.
alvador Dalí, for most of his life, resided at Port Lligat, a former fisherman’s village on the rocky coast of Spain’s Costa Brava. Lligat, minutes from the seaside resort of Cadaqués, was Dalí’s home from the time he was disowned by his family, in 1929. A site of pilgrimage for the Surrealists, the town had been immortalized in Man Ray’s photographs portraying the scenic cliffs that inspired many of Dalí’s paintings. And it was here that Dalí would seduce his soul mate, Gala, the wife of the Surrealist poet Paul Éluard. Port Lligat served as the laboratory where Dalí tested ideas to be realized in photography and film. Along with Gala, who would later become his own wife, he turned a small cottage into a tabernacle of the divine, replete with a phallic-shaped swimming pool and objets d’art contrived from flotsam that washed up from the sea. Under the artist’s influence, Port Lligat became a bacchanalian oasis amid the oppressive
to return again the following day with a beautiful girl. Clemmer complied, persuading a young German tourist to leave her boyfriend for an afternoon photo shoot. Dalí christened her Ginesta, and she was immediately subsumed into a series of new photographs—the first of many collaborations between Dalí and Clemmer. (Clemmer would go on to create defining campaigns for the designer Paco Rabanne, whom Dalí dubbed “the second greatest Spanish genius.”) Dalí decided the shoot with Ginesta that day would be based on the principles of levitation, which married his love of mythology and scientific discovery with the secret forces of magic ritual. He hung Ginesta upside down, dangling her from a balcony, and poured 80 kilos of chickpeas on top of her, which bounced off her body, simulating atomic repulsion. During the photo shoot, the mayor of Cadaqués arrived unexpectedly and was casually handed a rope, unaware a naked model hung precariously at the other end. While dressed up as
ort Lligat, with its long hours of light, allowed Dalí to paint masterworks each summer while friends visiting from Paris, New York, and London made themselves available for theatrical interludes, many of which became tableaux vivants into which the artist wove his favorite themes of mythology and science. One morning in 1962, the young Clemmer, seeking to create works that captured the “boundary between the conscious and unconscious,” knocked lightly three times on Dalí’s door. (It was rumored that with a single glance the maestro would decide if a stranger was worthy of sharing in a moment of Dalínian genius.) Dalí opened the door, looked at the young man, and told him to return at eight o’clock that evening—and not a second later. Clemmer ran through a torrential rainstorm to arrive on time, then Dalí told the soaked photographer, whose work he never asked to see,
Dalí declared to reporters that the film would represent “the mystical gastric-intestinal development.” He was particularly fascinated with cow heads, often to scandalous ends. In 1941, he demanded the choreographer Léonide Massine bring one to the stage for his ballet Labyrinth—performed by the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo—insisting the dancers ravenously devour it in the last scene. In the end there was no cow head to be found, but two decades later Dalí did successfully hang a dead cow on the stage, for his opera bouffé collaboration with Maurice Béjart, The Spanish Lady and the Roman Cavalier. When the carcass dripped blood on the singer Fiorenza Cossotto, she went into a fit of hysteria. In Le Divin Dalí, the Minotaur—described by Clemmer as a beautiful showgirl from the Parisian strip club The Crazy Horse—was directed to vomit profusely as the overhead lights shined on the milk she regurgitated. In alchemy, putrefaction, the process by which matter is broken apart, serves as the first step in transcendence to the sacred realm. Dalí declared, “Vomiting, you know, is what comes closest to love.” The fire that took place at Joudioux’s Paris studio in 1964 occasioned the loss of an amazing tribute to carnal abandon, one that explored Dalí’s most integral themes. More than a film, it was a ceremony conducted in a sanctuary of the divine, which thanks to Clemmer’s photos helps to elucidate the Surrealist project.
the master alchemist Hermes Trismegistus, Dalí wrapped Ginesta in a garment constructed from a special plastic material given to him by the United States Air Force, then instructed her to contort her body, to evoke modernity’s distortion of natural forms. Clemmer saw the filmic potential of these tableaux and contacted his friend Claude Joudioux. An independent filmmaker, Joudioux had produced Chris Marker’s La Jetée, a project assembled from photographs taken by Marker with his 28mm Pentax. Joudioux then hired Dalí as a sole director and built him a set at A.P.E.C. Studios in Paris, while Marker lent Clemmer his Pentax to shoot the film stills. Among the images Clemmer shot were the ones that appear on these pages, which are now the film’s only remnants. Le Divin Dalí’s central scene—which the artist described as “cannibalism of the angelic”—was constructed of tiers of glass, each holding an angel, to simulate the idea of ascension. Above them Dalí created a baroque ceiling, to signify the heavens. The angels devoured each other, regurgitating and consuming their ecstatic states of purity in a continuous cycle of renewal. In a recalling of the archetypes of Western religion, they were also confronted with a demonic Minotaur, simulated by a model wearing the head of a calf. For Dalí angelicism represented the most exalted state of faith. He believed desire and edibility were reciprocal, and that to consume another being was to ingest its essence. In cannibalism—with its echoes of Dionysian ritual, in which the god is dismembered and eaten—the artist saw an allegory of alchemy, the most important of traditions among the Surrealists, as it represented transmutation and rebirth.
Laura Whitcomb is the author of Salvador Dalí: The Paradox of Fashion and Dalí: The Stage as Laboratory, both to be released in 2013. For information on the gallery debut of these photographs, visit labelgallery.co
a fearless instructor and her devoted pupil jeté, plié, and fouetté through the history of modern movement Photography KACPER KASPRZYK David Hallberg wears Bodysuit (throughout) SanSHa Daria Strokous wears Top and skirt Tom ForD Cane (throughout) maTTHieu PraT all dance shoes (throughout) BloCH
after marie-agnes gillot Daria and David wear Harnesses, top, pants, gloves WalTer Van BeirenDonCk for opĂŠra de Paris Vintage hats kiliWaTCH PariS
in September 2011, DaViD HallBerg joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a Premier Dancerâ€”the first american to do so. His success may be due to his natural elegance, his perfect technique, or his delicate features, all of which hark back to the age of the danseur noble. Whatever the case, to label him a star on the rise would be incorrect. With the Bolshoi appointment, he has no doubt ascended to the firmament. Daria wears Jacket nina riCCi Pants louiSe golDin
Daria wears Jacket and pants emPorio armani Top Jean Colonna David wears Sweater equiPmenT
after michael clark David wears Top giVenCHy By riCCarDo TiSCi Dress Comme DeS garรงonS SHirT girl Daria wears Top and pants Junya WaTanaBe Comme DeS garรงonS
after michel fokine This spread: Daria and David wear Dresses Comme DeS garรงonS mittens kerSTin & aDolPHSon
after pina Bausch Daria wears Dress Co David wears Suit and shirt giVenCHy By riCCarDo TiSCi
Daria wears Coat miu miu Dress reeD krakoFF
Daria wears Top and skirt max mara
after fantasia Daria wears Top and skirt marC JaCoBS Shoes Comme DeS garรงonS makeup gemma SmiTH-eDHouSe Hair akki manicure laura Forget Choreographer audrey roehrich Set design Diplomates Production alexandre-Camille removille (Total management)
At Gosford House, A storied scottisH mAnor, formAlity flies out tHe window And A spirit of plAyful trAnsGression fills tHe Air
Photography KARL LAGERFELD 110
Ashleigh Good wears Jacket and bag Dior Collar and cuffs (throughout) KinloCh AnDerson Kati nescher wears Jacket soniA ryKiel Black top (underneath, throughout) Joie Choker (throughout) GivenChy By riCCArDo TisCi sash and sporran KinloCh AnDerson Both wear hats vintage shoes ChAnel socks (throughout) and kilts KinloCh AnDerson
From left: Ashleigh wears Jacket and skirt vivienne WesTWooD GolD lABel Cardigan and bag ChAnel shoes FenDi Kati nescher wears Cardigan PrinGle oF sCoTlAnD T-shirt stylistâ€™s own Kilt ArChive PrinGle oF sCoTlAnD rabbit sporran vintage shoes FenDi 112
Ashleigh wears Jacket ChrisToPher KAne Top and skirt sAlvATore FerrAGAmo shoes ChAnel Kati wears Jacket TheysKensâ€™ Theory skirt FAUsTo PUGlisi shoes from ABrACADABrA headpieces GivenChy By riCCArDo TisCi
Ashleigh wears Jacket, top, skirt SAlvAtore FerrAgAmo Kilt (on head) Kinloch AnderSon Shoes giAnvito roSSi Kati wears Jacket and skirt SAlvAtore FerrAgAmo Kilt (over skirt) 21st century KiltS t-shirt stylistâ€™s own Shoes giAnvito roSSi Bag louiS vuitton
Kati wears Jacket roDArTe skirt CeDriC ChArlier shoes FenDi sunglasses Céline Ashleigh wears Jacket, top, skirt, bag (on couch) ProenzA sChoUler shoes FenDi sunglasses Céline
Kati and Ashleigh wear Dresses Comme Des GArçons sHIrT GIrL Kilts 21st CenTury KILTs socks AsHIsH Bags sALvATore FerrAGAmo scarves (on heads) CHAneL Gloves (on Kati) mAIson FABre makeup PeTer PHILIPs for Chanel Hair sAm mcKnIGHT manicure Anny errandonea Choreographer Les Child Image directors eric Pfrunder, Katherine marre, mighela shama on-set producer mia meliava retouching Ludovic D’Hardiville special thanks Gosford House
Kati wears Jacket and dress ChAnel Kilt (over dress) J.W. AnDerson shoes serGio rossi Ashleigh wears Dress and bag ProenzA sChoUler Top (underneath) Joie skirt (over dress) FenDi Belt Dries vAn noTen shoes soPhiA WeBsTer
He died over 60 years ago, but tHe god of dance continues to inspire. cHanneled in a séance, vaslav nijinsky speaks witH dancer and cHoreograpHer Marie-agnès gillot about life on and off tHe stage Photography Mathieu Cesar Psychic medium haNK hiVNOr
Makeup CAROLE COLOMBANI using M.A.C Cosmetics Hair ODILE GILBERT
eralded as ballet’s first modern choreographer and as one of the greatest dancers of all time, Vaslav Nijinsky reinvented his medium, filling it with soulful expression and a radical, decidedly antiballetic style that incorporated hunched-over positions, turned-in feet, and movements in profile. He was also an extraordinarily gifted actor, subversive in his representations of traditional characters. He rose to international fame in the Michel Fokine ballets Les Sylphides, Petrouchka, and Scheherazade, among others, and continues to cast a long shadow on the dance world, despite having died more than half a century ago, in 1950. This is because, apart from his innovative technique, the Russian was a compelling and fascinating figure: his mysterious sexuality and descent into madness still grip dance devotees to this day.
Now the beautiful French ballerina and choreographer Marie-Agnès Gillot is breaking barriers in her own way. Recently she became the first female dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet to be invited to choreograph for the company. With her svelte 5'9" swimmer’s frame, Gillot isn’t necessarily built to dance—but she does so beautifully, filling her roles with a smoldering sensuality and uncanny grace. Sous Apparence, her choreographic debut at the Opera, served as a kind of performed autobiography, one that explores the power and importance of constraints. When these two legends of dance—one of the past and one of the future—met last summer, Gillot at least was not prepared for the frank conversation that would ensue. Reached via psychic medium, Nijinsky opened up about his childhood, his knack for seduction, his sexual persona, and why dancing is like breathing, dying, stopping time, and walking in the sun, all at the same time.
Left: Marie-Agnès Gillot in Paris, November 2012 Dress (throughout) and shoes AZZEDINE ALAÏA
MG Yes exactly. When I’m dancing I never think of the audience. I understand their presence, but I’m so in myself. I could dance forever just for the feeling. Also I don’t ever wait for success or applause. I just want to give. VS I love that you understand that. MG I started when I was really young, at five years old, so now it’s like I just have to dance. Also now I’m starting to choreograph miseen-scène, a lot like you did in your life. For me it’s like creating and dancing. VS It might be fun for you to do a dance where you start out just moving as slow as possible, almost so slow that the audience would not be able to perceive. Perhaps you start in one place and move to the other side of the room and they can’t tell, they cannot see you move because you’re moving so slow, and then at the end of the performance you’re moving so quickly that they cannot see you. MG I love that idea. VS It tests the focus of the audience, which is important. I was always able to be in many places at one time. Sometimes I liked to be in the audience. Not physically, but just feeling them, like a snake slithering around an egg. Just feeling the energy, seducing. MG I love it. VS I feel the same of you. I feel the urge to seduce you. MG Wow. VS I want to talk about your feet, because you know they’re very important for a dancer. They’re essential. We express with our entire bodies, so our feet can have as much expression in them as our faces. You’re aware of this? MG Oh yes. VS And every person has a part of their body that can enable seduction, so what you do is you find that part of their body and touch it for long enough to establish a connection. And then the affair will happen on its own. MG Good to know. VS Should I tell you where your body part is? It’s right behind your ear, right here. So if I was to come on to you, I would get close to you and find a way to touch your ear. MG It’s true. VS For me it’s my feet. If someone just tickles the energy outside of my feet, it turns me on. MG Interesting. VS I also want to talk more about time, because for a performer it is all about making time seem like an illusion. MG Time is life. It’s dance, it’s everything. For me, I adore to be old and older and older. I don’t want to be like kids or babies or teenagers. I love time passing. And it’s funny because almost all women want to be young. No one wants to be old. VS How old are you? MG I don’t care which age I have. I just let the time pass. For me it’s like the process of evolution, and it’s good for me. Time passes. VS How old would you like to become? MG I don’t know. VS You should choose a number in your mind. If you want. Not that you should want to live forever. But I can tell you will probably live much longer than most people. Until at least 100. MG I don’t know, but I know that what I like is the time. In our world time is money—it’s everything—and I just let time pass. It’s the opposite of what most people do. VS And what do you think about death? MG I wait. VS You don’t have any fear of death? MG I don’t care. But it’s funny that with dance most of the best classical roles involve death. VS What is it like for you to die on stage? MG It’s almost like you’re giving yourself to the unknown. I give my entire body to express death. It’s actually one of my favorite things to play.
MARIE-AGNÈS GILLOT Tell me, how did you learn to dance? VASLAV NIJINSKY My father would take water in a glass vase and throw it and ask me to run with the water. This taught me to slow down time, to manage time, to change time. MG That’s fascinating. VS We should all run with the water. MG We should. As dancers we are always experimenting with time and breathing. This is the reality of the dance, and it’s one of the best things when you feel that you have stopped time on stage. This is how you know you’ve been good that night. VS And also light. It is very important. Especially sunlight. MG I really feel that the sun gives me so much power. I sometimes feel it even when I’m on the stage. But maybe it is just the spotlights. [Laughs] VS At all times there is sunlight somewhere in the world, that’s why we can feel its power even when it is not shining. Sunlight is like a fuel for the body. You don’t have to eat necessarily. You could just live off sunlight, but it’s good to eat. Next time you stand in the sun, just absorb it into your skin and then you can actually be floating when you walk down the street. It’s like being onstage. MG This is the goal of my life. Floating. When I’m in the air, everything stops. But I don’t know if it’s the technique of dance that causes this or if it’s just in my mind. Like on pointe shoes, the entire point of them is to stand up from the floor, like floating. VS Being in the body is very constraining. I think we must share a lineage with people who were more acrobatic, perhaps people from the circus. It’s almost like figments of ourselves are acrobats, but this dream is only useful if it helps you understand why you’ve become Marie-Agnès the dancer. MG I’m always in other dimensions when I go on stage. Like two days ago I was playing a ghost, the queen of the ghosts. It was the second act of Chez Elle and you, Mr. Nijinsky, know very well this part, but it’s funny we just concentrate to represent the most clearly and the most honestly the feeling to be a ghost. I feel it, I can dance it, but I cannot express it in words, it’s just a feeling. VS It is very difficult to express that feeling. When I was little, my father didn’t like me going into my mind. I was trained with such intensity that whatever dance I did, I would always return to this mentality—not thinking, just doing. MG I can relate to that a bit. VS I would have this same energy in the bedroom, and it would often scare my partners. I would like to possess people and control them. My father was very physical with me as a child and kind of roughhoused me almost too much. I think this is how I developed this tendency to be physical, too physical, with people. But it was all done with love. It was almost like too much love. I regret not having been more gentle, more quiet, more conscious of other people’s feelings and energy. MG Sounds a bit like swans. They can be so graceful yet so violent. VS Have you ever ridden a horse? MG Yes. VS Have you ever ridden a horse standing up? MG No. VS You might want to try that. It is incredible because you can feel the tension. It’s a feeling of being weightless yet still tethered. MG It sounds amazing. VS What is your relationship like with directors? Are there directors you’ve worked with who you feel a lot of chemistry with? An unspoken understanding? MG Like you always said you felt like a puppet. I give my body and brain too. I give them everything they want and I am also ready to try with my body any kind of feeling, position, mentality, anything. VS There’s a delicate boundary between director and performer. MG I don’t ever establish that space, I just give my entire space to the director. VS It’s almost like you disappear. It’s like there’s nothing.
A cAst of chArActers inhAbits An eerie bAckstAge limbo between roles And reAlity Photography Maurizio Bavutti From left: Chiharu Okunugi, Ashleigh Good, Sasha Baldina, Grace Mahary, and Yumi Lambert wear Dresses and shoes GuCCi Sasha wears Headpiece LEGERON Florimond (in background) wears Tutu (around neck) and pointe shoes REpETTO Tights (throughout) CApEziO Lida Fox (in foreground) wears Bodysuit BODY EDiTiONS Tutu (around neck) REpETTO
From left: Jackson Rado, Yumi (seated), Chiharu, Grace, and Ashleigh wear Clothing and accessories BotteGA VenetA Florimond (left background, on pointe) wears Cardigan BotteGA VenetA Mask LeGeRon Lida (right background, on pointe) wears Dress BotteGA VenetA Pointe shoes (throughout) RePetto
Chiharu wears Clothing and shoes MARC JACOBS On lips, DiOR Addict Extreme Lipstick in Black Tie
From top: Lida wears Bodysuit MAX MARA Tutu REpETTO Headpiece LEGERON Yumi wears Top and skirt LOuiS VuiTTON Collar SERkAN CuRA COuTuRE Jackson wears Dress MARC JACOBS
From left: Chiharu and Yumi wear Clothing Reed KRaKoFF Shoes Chanel ashleigh wears Jacket heRmÃ¨S legs (in background) wear Clothing BelStaFF Pointe shoes RePetto
From left: Yumi, Chiharu, and Sasha wear Clothing JunYa Watanabe Pointe shoes RePettO Makeup ViOlette using Dior Hair GuillauMe beRaRD Manicure Huberte Cesarion Choreographer audrey Roehrich Set design anne Koch On-set producer Mia Meliava
Fashion and dance occupy distinct worlds, but when they intersect, the results inspire intriguing new ways oF thinking, creating, moving, and wearing. here, a brieF history oF collaboration
designer’s iconic Pleats Please collection. More recently, in September 2012, Valentino designed haute couture costumes for the New York City Ballet debut of Danish choreographer Peter Martins’s “Bal de Couture.” More high-glamour than avant-garde, the piece, set to Tchaikovsky, served as a lavish celebration of the couturier’s vision. At other times, one of these mediums has foretold the future of the other. The clothing in a startlingly modern 1935 Martha Graham performance, Lamentation, no doubt prefigured the slinky ’70s silhouette forged by the designer Halston. The two creative forces proved to be magnetically drawn to each other when, nearly fifty years after that performance, they actually collaborated, Halston’s gowns swirling around the sinuous bodies of Graham’s dancers in the 1981 piece Acts of Light. The choreographer Angelin Preljocaj adores confrontations between disciplines and often calls on designers to adorn his scenic creations in their finery. “Great couturiers bring their own sense of drama,” he says, “which finds its way into the dance. Couturiers bring greater ideas, a greater world.” It was while watching a runway show of Gaultier’s that he got the idea to consult the designer about his 2008 ballet Snow White. “I saw this parade of little mermaids with long, wet hair and dresses of scales,” Preljocaj remembers. “I was dazzled. I was at work on a fairy tale, so of course I had to talk to Gaultier about Snow White. He was absolutely delighted. A week after our first conversation, I’d already gotten 200 designs!” From that moment on, an uninterrupted dialogue between the couturier and the choreographer transpired, their imaginations interweaving, each with its constraints and solutions. “We were always going back and readjusting, all the way to the end, to push things farther,” says Preljocaj. “It was a joyous conversation that propelled me forward in my thoughts on movement. For example, I loved his ‘fashion’ idea of transposing the passage from child to woman onto Snow White. He’d come up with a very beautiful piece of white drapery that went between her legs, to evoke childlike modesty, but ended very sensually on her hip, to evoke budding femininity. For me, it was an exciting work in progress.” As for his next creation—sure to be a feast for the eyes—Preljocaj will work with Azzedine Alaïa on his Thousand and One Nights, set to debut in April 2013. “Alaïa is extraordinary,” says the choreographer. “It’s like constraints are freedom for him!” Both fashion and dance can be considered insular worlds. But it is in these collaborations that the creative minds at work in either pursuit can open themselves to new perspectives and possibilities. The result is a mood that’s playful and regenerative. “The world of dance is a collective one,” adds Saillard. “There’s the choreographer, of course, but it’s the dancer who will wear the costume, the dancer whose body must react—a body with its own part to play. In one fell swoop, the couturier leaves behind his unilateral relationship with the outfit and the mute model. Faced with the dancer, he is forced to act in concert, to listen to the dancer’s body, to bow to the body expressing itself. It must give him all sorts of new ideas about posture, gesture, and clothes working in unison.” In short, an ideal of fashion in motion, if not the ideal of fashion itself.
ashion and dance are more closely linked than one might think. That’s because renowned couturiers have for years engaged in collaborations with the world’s most progressive dancers and choreographers, sending fantasies of style and movement across the stage. One of the earliest and most iconic pairings of dance and design dates to 1924, when Gabrielle Chanel perfected the costumes for Diaghilev’s Le Train Bleu, bandaging the dancers’ bodies with Velpeau gauze. (Sets by Henri Lauren and a stage curtain designed by Picasso helped make the piece a true wonder.) Since that time, designers as diverse as Rei Kawakubo, Azzedine Alaïa, and Issey Miyake have explored the intersection of fashion and dance with choreographers like Merce Cunningham, Angelin Preljocaj, and William Forsythe, among many others. Quite often the effect is stunning. Jean Paul Gaultier has designed more than 300 costumes for 16 shows with choreographer Régine Chopinot; the two artists reinvented the idea of stage costumes with the most fervent and passionate of partnerships. Their most recent creative alliance produced Very Wetr! at last summer’s Avignon Festival, where the choreographer directed a South Pacific troupe in a celebratory Kanak dance. “The idea,” Gaultier says, “was to start with the traditional Kanak dancer’s costume: grass skirts made of pandanus material, like woven palm leaves. At first I thought of mixing that with Western clothes and morning coats, for a designer effect. But I was wrong! It made for a colonial look, like those photos from the first Universal Expositions, where you saw natives wearing top hats. Western clothes clashed too much; they didn’t work at all. So I reoriented myself along their warrior lines and made the pandanus stick out through slits in motorcycle jackets. I had to transcend tradition and exoticism. It was wonderful, being forced to think that way, being in a constant dialogue with a choreographer.” The link between fashion and choreography is plain to see, in that both involve working with the body. “Here are two specific ways of approaching the human figure,” explains Olivier Saillard, director of the Musée Galliera, the fashion museum of the City of Paris. “For the couturier, there is the body one dresses and adorns. For the choreographer, there is the body in motion, the way it occupies space and the study of gesture. It’s amazing when these two worlds collide, because they have so much to say to each other.” Collaborations between fashion and dance ultimately move both mediums forward. Revolutions both in clothing and in movement have been born of such encounters. It’s thanks to this cross-pollination that contemporary dance has left behind the traditional tutu. A 1997 piece called Scenario brings together two of the world’s most cerebral artists: Rei Kawakubo and Merce Cunningham. The American found the seed of his show in the Japanese designer’s padded and disfigured costumes, which suggested how to shift the dancer’s center of gravity, thwarting movement and forcing the invention of new poses. (A collection of these costumes, along with videos and photographs of the performance, is on view through late March at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.) In another standout example, from 1992, Issey Miyake created more than 400 costumes for William Forsythe’s The Loss of Small Detail, a piece about the lightness of movement that in turn laid the foundation for the
Translated from the French by Edward Gauvin
Right: Martha Graham, Lamentation, 1935. Photography Barbara Morgan
© Barbara Morgan Archive courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York
Words SYLVIA JORIF
“For the couturier, there is the body one dresses and adorns. For the choreographer, there is the body in motion. it’s amazing when these two worlds collide, because they have so much to say to each other.” –olivier saillard From left: Tom Caley, Banu Ogan, Jeannie Steele, and Lisa Boudreau in Merce Cunningham’s Scenario, 1997, with costumes by Rei Kawakubo. Photography Jacques Moatti 136
Writing her memoir at age 30, the black sWan of american ballet is noW Dancing her seconD act
Makeup BANK NATDANAI Hair YUSEF
Photography MICHAEL AVEDON Firestarter AMANDA HARLECH Words CHRISTOPHER BARTLEY
hen Misty Copeland was 15 years old, the Lifetime network asked to produce a movie of her life. “I looked at my mother and said, I haven’t even had a life yet, what would it be about?” But the fact that Copeland’s one and a half decades on Earth would have merited a feature-length film suggests that the beautiful young ballet star and third black female soloist of the American Ballet Theatre had experienced and accomplished more in 15 years than most people do in 30—and that enough people find her fascinating and inspiring enough to warrant such attention. Seventeen years later, Copeland has decided to finally share her story, agreeing to co-author, with journalist Charisse Jones, a memoir to be released in 2014. “At first I thought, I haven’t even begun what I want to accomplish,” Copeland says. “But now I think it’s more about taking a chapter of my life and framing it.” The book will track everything from her humble childhood in San Pedro, California, as the youngest of six siblings, to the day when her drill coach suggested she was too creative for gymnastics to her recent career-defining turn dancing the title role in Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird, which debuted last spring in Los Angeles, and for which she earned radiant reviews. The timing is certainly right, with Copeland as of this interview recovering from a series of “dreaded black-line” fractures to her left shin. (She expects to be back in action by April of this year.) It’s a moment for reflection, and for positioning her story as inspiration for the next generation. “For me it’s important that people really feel my experience,” Copeland says. “To know you don’t have to fit the mold or have grown up in this world or come from a family with money.” She is determined to tell the American story of the only black girl at ballet practice and to do so with unflinching honesty. She is determined to frame her own narrative and to do so with unflinching honesty. “I don’t want it to be a processed image,” she says. “My story is so crazy that there is no need to add or enhance any drama.” After the shin injury, Copeland says, neighbors in her Upper West Side apartment building would joke with her, laughing, “I guess that’s the end of your career.” But bouncing back is part of her game. “People don’t realize how brutal an injury can be, but also how common it is,” she says. “We get injured just like any athlete or performer would.” Appearances are essential, and Copeland has made sure to keep hers up. “One of the big things that I refused to do was to go on stage and look like I was injured. Because that’s not the audience’s problem, they don’t want or need to know what is happening with us, and that’s why we are professionals. I never want to go on stage and for people to wonder why I am not looking my best.”
Being at one’s best is crucial for any dancer, but Copeland is a poster child for achievement. Her dedication has led her to a style known for its rigor, yet she is recognized for delivering polished, humanistic, vulnerable performances. They’re her signature. “I must have been 17,” she remembers, “and I had just joined the ABT Studio Company. I remember I was doing Sleeping Beauty and director John Meehan said to me, ‘It’s so fantastic, you look like a pedestrian. It’s not like this untouchable, stiff character, it’s relatable.’ That meant so much to me.” Not that any of it came easy. Copeland has worked indefatigably to arrive at her place as one of contemporary ballet’s greatest talents— despite having started at age 13, late by most standards. Should she rise to the rank of principal—which she can and most likely will—she will become the first African American to achieve the position. Copeland is a star in the classic manner and occupies her roles with complete control and confidence, understanding her value as something that cannot be replaced. “It’s hard in a company as large and prestigious as the American Ballet Theatre,” she says. “There is no shortage of amazingly talented dancers who are always kind of waiting in the wings for their opportunity, and a lot of those times it happens when a soloist gets injured. I think it’s been a big learning process for me, learning my worth.” In the past, Copeland has been quoted as saying she never really experienced her race until she joined the ABT. Today her role at the company is one that expands the appreciation for dance beyond a typical starkly white audience. “This past season was something huge, historic, for the company,” she says. “The audience for the premiere of Firebird was half full of African-American people. And I think it’s a new crowd of people who are starting to be interested in ballet because they feel a relation to me. So I have to remind myself about that bigger picture. But the only reason I share my story as a black woman is because I see the effect it has on other minority dancers. That means so much to me.” Copeland’s status as trailblazer has endeared her to young girls and their parents, turning her into a bonafide role model—and with that comes intensive monitoring of one’s reputation. She recently posed in pictures for a 2013 calendar that bordered on PG-13 sensuality, and its release caused a minor uproar on her social media: mothers were distressed that a model of beauty, fitness, hard work, and dedication would pose semi-suggestively. But Copeland demurs to the criticism. “I have certain values, and I’m a ballerina, and my body is my instrument” she says. In other words, star soloists of the ABT are people too. “I’m a 30-year-old woman, not a 12-year-old girl, which is how people see ballet dancers. It’s like we are never allowed to be, we are always little girls. But we don’t live in this sort of fantasy world. Our lives are very much real.”
Left: Misty Copeland in New York, December 2012
Misty wears Dress VALENTINo Pointe shoes her own TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK 141
From left: Charlotte Carey wears Top J.W. anDerSon pants and shoes GiorGio armani Sam Greenberg wears vest J.W. anDerSon pants (throughout) his own Lina Zhang wears Clothing and shoes GiorGio armani Bentley wears Clothing (throughout) armani Junior David prottas wears vest J.W. anDerSon Shorts (throughout) CapeZio Wang xiao wears Clothing and shoes GiorGio armani Lauren King wears Top J.W. anDerSon all ballet shoes and tights models’ own
New York’s experimental
BalletCollective brings a free-spirited inventiveness to the sometimes-stodgy dance world. Here, the company underscores ıts spirit of unconventionality with a wardrobe that mixes young designers and ıconic
Giorgio Armani Photography PAUL MAFFI
From left: Troy Schumacher wears Shirt and shorts ChriSTopher Kane Leggings (throughout) his own Taylor Stanley wears T-shirt ChriSTopher Kane Leggings (throughout) CapeZio Lina wears Clothing and shoes GiorGio armani Charlotte wears Coat ThomaS TaiT Shirt, shorts, shoes GiorGio armani Lauren wears Clothing ThomaS TaiT Wang wears Clothing and shoes GiorGio armani David wears Shirt ThomaS TaiT Sam wears T-shirt ChriSTopher Kane
From left: Sam wears Sweater JuLien DaviD Lina wears Clothing and shoes GiorGio armani Troy wears Shorts JuLien DaviD Charlotte wears Jacket and shoes GiorGio armani Shirt and skirt JuLien DaviD ashley Laracey wears Jacket, shirt, skirt JuLien DaviD Taylor wears T-shirt and shorts Shaun SamSon Wang wears Clothing and accessories GiorGio armani
From left: Wang wears Clothing GiorGio armani Shoes Sophia WeBSTer Charlotte wears Dress marqueS ‘ aLmeiDa Top (underneath) and clutch GiorGio armani Shoes Sophia WeBSTer Taylor wears Jacket and shorts marqueS ‘ aLmeiDa ashley wears Dress marqueS ‘ aLmeiDa Troy wears Skirt marqueS ‘ aLmeiDa Lina wears Clothing and bag GiorGio armani Shoes Sophia WeBSTer Sam wears Coat marqueS ‘ aLmeiDa
From left: Lina wears Dress CeDriC CharLier Shoes and bag GiorGio armani Taylor wears Jacket aLexanDer WanG ashley (in air) wears Top and skirt LuCaS naSCimenTo Troy wears T-shirt T by aLexanDer WanG Charlotte wears Top and skirt LuCaS naSCimenTo Shoes and bag GiorGio armani Likolany brown (in air) wears Top and skirt LuCaS naSCimenTo Sam wears Jacket and shorts Tim CoppenS Wang wears Clothing and shoes GiorGio armani makeup aSami TaGuChi using Chanel hair peTer Gray using L’oréal professionnel manicure mar y Soul for CoverGirl Director of photography roy beeson
Karen Kilimnik backdrops courtesy the artist and 303 Gallery, New York
There’s high drama on set when a possessive director loses control of his troubled lover and muse. As a love story unfolds with savage grace and hysterical beauty, an eccentric cast is thrown into the strange, wild mix. In an ode to film classics like Michael Powell’s • The Red Shoes and Andrzej Zuławski’s Possession
Photography LUCA GUADAGNINO With backdrops by KAREN KILIMNIK Opposite page: Magda Laguinge wears Robe CARINE GILSON Charlie Siem wears Jacket, shirt, pants TOM FORD Watch CARTIER Sam Rollinson wears Bodysuit MURMUR Tilda Lindstam wears Jacket EDUN 152
Magda and Sam wear Clothing and shoes DIOR
Benoit Bouisset wears Shirt RALPH LAUREN Leggings VICTORIAâ€™S SECRET CUSTOM DESIGNER COLLECTION
From left: Benoit wears Dress COMME DES GARçONS SHIRT GIRL Ballet shoes REPETTO Sam wears Jacket and briefs SISTER BY SIBLING Shoes SERGIO ROSSI Chiharu Okunugi wears Shirt and pants CHLOé Shoes CHURCH’S Anmari Botha wears Dress ALEXANDER WANG Shoes SERGIO ROSSI Tilda wears Dress LOUIS VUITTON Shoes CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Magda wears Dress GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI Shoes SERGIO ROSSI Ashleigh Good wears Dress GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI Shoes SERGIO ROSSI Lida wears Clothing VICTORIA’S SECRET CUSTOM DESIGNER COLLECTION Pointe shoes REPETTO
Chiharu wears Dress and shoes GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI
Magda wears Dress DIANE VON FURSTENBERG Ava Sfez wears Hat AVA SFEZ On lips, M.A.C COSMETICS Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Splurge
Marie-AgnĂ¨s Gillot wears Costume and pointe shoes her own
Charlie wears Jacket and shirt TOM FORD Watch CARTIER Tilda wears Jacket EDUN Makeup CAROLE COLOMBANI using M.A.C Cosmetics Hair ODILE GILBERT Manicure Huberte Cesarion Choreographer Audrey Roehrich Director of photography Yorick Lesaux Set design Herve Sauvage On-set producer Mia Meliava Special thanks Little Grand Studio, Paris
Good looks may be a Gift, but the dashinG younG violinist has homed in on a place where only the music matters. which so far has worked out handsomely
Grooming Carole Colombani Hair odile Gilbert
Photography MATHIEU CESAR Words ALEX NEEDHAM Charlie Siem might be fashion’s favorite violinist, though the list is hardly long (in fact he may be the only one on it). Last season, he starred in a short film for Dior Homme; now he’s the face of Armani. Cynics may suggest this has as much to do with his chiseled looks as his virtuosity. But as we sit in a café near his home in Kensington, London, the more he talks, the clearer his commitment to his art becomes. Though fashion may have put him on billboards all over the world, he is not about to water down his music for the masses. “Usually things that speak to a wide audience are diluted to such an extent that you can easily splash it everywhere,” he says, adding that the music he wants to play “requires a little bit more effort on the part of the audience, which obviously limits it. But rather than trying to get an extra thousand people listening, you might as well just focus on the people who are interested. That’s what I like about the fashion world. People like Bruce Weber and Karl Lagerfeld are so interested in what I do in a very respectful way. The image is glamorized, but it’s not changing the substance of what I do.” Though undeniably handsome in the classic British public school mold, this afternoon Siem looks nothing like the dashing figure in black tie he cuts onstage. The 27-year-old emerges cheerily from the café’s basement, unshaven and wearing tracksuit bottoms and a Billabong cap. He sets down a bag that appears to be full of vitamin supplements, orders a salmon fillet, and then methodically scrapes off the sauce. His violin is nowhere in sight. Fortunately, Siem hasn’t left it on the Tube—he plays a priceless 1735 Guarneri del Gesù that passed through Yehudi Menuhin’s illustrious hands before a trust called the Elderberry Foundation loaned it to him. “I do have an electric shock if I suddenly think, Have I got my violin with me? But then I always do, so far.” Though Siem’s embrace of the violin came at the ultraprecocious age of three, when he heard Menuhin playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto on the family’s car radio, there was nothing in his immediate background to suggest he was born to fiddle. His Norwegian father, Kristian, is the chairman of Siem Industries and Subsea 7, whose interests encompass oil, gas, and shipping; his British mother’s love of music didn’t extend far beyond playing Classic FM, the unashamedly middlebrow radio station that provides an unobtrusive soundtrack of light classics to the U.K. But there is another musician in the family: Charlie’s elder sister, Sasha, is a composer, with tastes rather more avant-garde than his—though Siem is trying to engage more fully with contemporary music. After hearing the Menuhin recording, Siem played a borrowed toy violin “constantly.” By the age of nine he was obsessed. Often young musicians are prodded by ambitious parents, but Siem’s did the opposite: “It got to a point when I was 11, 12, and so immersed in the violin they thought it was a bit unhealthy.” He had already set his heart on becoming a virtuoso and announced that if he were to achieve his ambition, he wouldn’t have time to go to school. “I knew that you develop the foundations of your technique when you’re a kid and your brain’s still developing. After a certain point it’s very hard to get it lodged in, to get you to the highest level. But my parents insisted on school, and I’m very grateful for it now—I can’t imagine the person I would have been if I’d have missed out on it.” Like Princes William and Harry, David Cameron, and 18 former prime ministers of the British government, Siem went to Eton, which he says socialized him. “Before I was just isolated with a violin. There you’re living with loads of other people and you have to learn how to get on with it.” However, there was a downside. “You almost create an identity for yourself to survive. [Eton] made me too out of touch
with my deep self, which I realized when I went onstage and was too nervous to play, I was so worried about living up to my own and other people’s expectations.” When Siem talks about playing the violin, it is clear he’s had to break through his upper-class codes of behavior to uncover the artist within. “What matters is that you move somebody in the audience, and that comes from being completely present in the moment, playing without any concern for the consequences, not because you want to get invited back or because you want people to think you’re so great or because you’ve not been good enough and you need to live up to your own expectations so you feel your life’s worthwhile,” he says. “I’ve had to confront my insecurities to be able to play. A lot of people live every day self-consciously, never just being positive and doing it. It’s far more than playing the violin that it represents—it’s my whole life.” Siem has played with some of the world’s great orchestras and released three albums. His current projects include a plethora of concerts, and hopefully the recording of either two violin concerti, a Shostakovich and a Britten (“they’re both wartime concerti and they would go well together”), or an album of Cuban blues with the film composer John Altman. Siem is signed to Sony, but hints at being dissatisfied with the label: “It seems like there’s very little energy going on with those guys.” He does his best not to compare himself to other violinists. “A lot of people do incredibly well with that mind-set, but they’re unhappy their whole lives. You look back after 50 years and think, What was the point of getting better when I never even enjoyed where I got?” The mention of 50 years makes it clear that Siem will continue playing the violin for as long as he can, and certainly well after his youthful looks have gone. The mystery is where—given his extremely comfortable background—his drive comes from. His violinist heroes, Shlomo Mintz, David Oistrakh, and Jascha Heifetz, were far from wellto-do, each one’s parents seizing on their child’s talent as a passport to a better life. Paganini’s father worked as a dockhand in Genoa. Siem, by contrast, lives in a flat next to the Albert Hall, in a postcode stuffed with oligarchs. His commitment to the violin is indubitable, but even he has little idea of its origins. “It’s fascinating,” he says. “I can’t say, beyond the fact that I’ve felt a burning need to work at it every day. It’s given me a purpose and direction in my life.” Perhaps the key to Siem’s destiny lies far in the past. A few years ago he found out that he is distantly related to the Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who lived from 1810 to 1880. “He was the quintessential virtuoso and a fairy-tale character,” says Siem. “He kept all these jewels that he got from kings and queens around Europe in a big treasure chest that he traveled with, so he was constantly being stopped by vagabonds. But he was a big guy, so he’d just flatten them and move on.” Siem might not quite have the swagger, but he does have the fans: a hard-core bunch, mainly from Germany and the Netherlands, who call themselves Charlie’s International Angels. Do they cry when he plays a particularly sad piece? “They never seem like they do,” Siem smiles. “I’m always disappointed. I think, If anybody’s going to bloody cry it should be you guys, but they just sit there.” So what’s the saddest piece of music? “Mozart would never indulge in being overtly miserable, but you can feel the pain that much more because it’s only a slight hint of it,” says Siem. “You get that sometimes in the second movement of the Mozart violin concerti.” And when the violinist is in the zone, so possessed he ceases to worry about his technique, taking risks and creating excitement in the music, both princes and paupers surely weep.
left: Charlie Siem in Paris, november 2012 Coat boSS
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Left: Sergei Polunin in Los Angeles, January 2013 Photography Gus Van Sant
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CR FASHION BOOK
The next great star of ballet pushes the limits of his medium. Photography Gus Van Sant Words Julie Kavanagh Curator Dominic Teja Sidhu 72
An ode to Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci, she of the seven perfect 10s. Photography Sebastian Faena Words Adina Rosetti 90
BLOOD AND ROSES
A dancer’s wardrobe is accented with touches of fur and flashes of scarlet. Photography Anthony Maule 102
IT DOESN’T GET BETTER
Reflections on divinity and empty states of mind. Words and artwork John Giorno 104
An exclusive journey through the archives of six designers leads directly to the Moulin Rouge. Photography Vincent Van De Wijngaard Wardrobe director Melanie Huynh 116
A TRIBUTE TO DIM DAM DOM In a fashion season all about the ‘60s, the stylish French variety show gains a new relevance. Photography Jean-Baptiste Mondino Words Sylvia Jorif 136
An exploration of theatrical beauty, courtesy of makeup artist Tom Pecheux and hairstylist Orlando Pita. Photography Sara VanDerBeek 144
Reflections on life and humanity from the preeminent author’s newest must-read: her Twitter feed. Words Joyce Carol Oates Artwork Robert Gober 146
The influential danseur refuses to let age or accolades slow him down. Photography Michael Avedon Words Sarah Fones 148
THE PHAROAH’S DAUGHTERS A new ballet by Karen Kilimnik 154
TANAQUIL LE CLERCQ
The exquisite ballerina remains a fascinating and tragic figure of dance history. Words Toni Bentley 158
See-through accessories make showing skin an easy endeavor. Photography Brigitte Niedermair Five figures undressed by Michaela Dosamantes
Cover and introduction photography Gus Van Sant Left: Sergei Polunin in Los Angeles, January 2013 Overalls Polunin’s own
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Photography GUS VAN SANT Words JULIE KAVANAGH Curator DOMINIC TEJA SIDHU
Sergei Polunin is an intriguing paradox. Urban rebel and airborne angel, the 23-year-old Ukrainian is an iconoclast with the kind of impossible talent that comes along once every two or three decades. Triggering goose bumps with his entrances alone, Polunin may be the most exciting male dancer in the world today. He is evidence against the claim that ballet is dead: with his contemporary edge, he is breathing new life into 19th-century roles and investing classical heroes with the energy of his time. The pride of the Royal Ballet until quite recently, Polunin joined the company at age 17 and was promoted to the rank of principal at age 19—the youngest dancer ever to achieve the feat. From his earliest performances, Polunin was electrifying. His childhood training as a gymnast had not only developed his natural plasticity but also instilled in him a hankering for risk, which he indulges in breathtaking eruptions of virtuosity. In Polunin’s dancing, the Russian-male bravura is never an end in itself, and is always tempered by an English finesse: freeze the frames on YouTube and the transitions between steps are paradigms of perfection,
though they retain a resolutely masculine vulnerability. What makes him a star, however, is not his technique. It’s something ineffable, a power that can’t be taught, acquired, or even described. It can only be experienced. “YouTube kind of ruins the legend of a dancer,” he says. “You don’t feel the force you get from the stage.” Polunin’s three most famous predecessors all subverted tradition, driving ballet out of their own century and into the next. Nijinsky’s dehumanized, cubist poses were too avant-garde for his time; Nureyev revolutionized the way men dance by adapting costumes and borrowing feminine attributes from ballerinas; Baryshnikov performed staggering combinations that had never before been seen. Polunin is appointing himself next in line. Practicing alone in a Moscow studio, sometimes until two or three in the morning, he invents his own steps, bursting through the confines of male classical style with youthful audacity and dynamism. “I create my own jumps,” he says. “Dancers are too concerned with positions, and the wildness has gone away. But only in that wildness can you ever really forget yourself.”
Left: Sergei Polunin in Los Angeles, January 2013 67
As a boy Polunin was drawn to black-and-white pictures of Baryshhis work. In our business you have to be disciplined. There’s nobody nikov—“There was a kind of secret about them,” he says—and he would who parties and improves.” study video footage of his idol in Don Quixote, trying to emulate the Since June of last year, Polunin has been under Zelensky’s wing, “floatiness” of his jumps. Vladimir Vasiliev in Spartacus was his model relying on his guidance with every proposal he receives, from guest for Soviet machismo, but he was less impressed with Nureyev, whose appearances abroad to interviews with the press. Zelensky, his family, style he found too androgynous and whose technique he believed to be and a circle of powerful oligarchs now constitute Polunin’s world, and inferior to his own. As he explains: “I’ve been more influenced by how he claims not to mind having made no friends his own age. “This way Nureyev talked than by how he danced.” Polunin says male movie stars you can focus your mind on what you do,” he says. “When people think of you as the best in the country, it brings a lot of happiness.” are more important to him than male dancers. When he was younger, he The only child of divorced parents, Polunin spent his early years in would study photographs of rebel actors like James Dean, Mickey Rourke, and Johnny Depp. “My mum thought I was gay,” he laughs, “but for me Kherson, where his father still lives, and Kiev, where he was first trained those guys were an inspiration. I guess I loved their style and presence. and where his mother now works as a wardrobe mistress in the opera It was a learning process.” house. His family is Russian by descent, so settling in Moscow and In England Polunin is the first dancer in decades to interest the pubspeaking his own language should have felt like a homecoming. But lic as well as the ballet-world cognoscenti. Just as Nureyev achieved instead he found it isolating, at first. “I felt like I was 12 years old and widespread notoriety by twisting in a New York discotheque or being needed to learn everything again. It’s a different mentality here. Like caught in a Haight-Ashbury drug bust, Polunin has made news with the girls. Russian girls are different—they expect you to pay, no matter his confessional tweets about “epic” parties, club drugs, and his cowhat. It’s hard not to think that they’re using you. And in the theater you ownership of a North London tattoo parlor. His business partner was have to fight to get anything done properly. Thank God for Igor, who his friend Anthony Lammin, a young knows how things should be. Watching renegade harboring an obsession with him has taught me to take charge myself.” Heath Ledger’s Joker (the reason for Polunin can expect at least another the character’s appearance on Polunin’s seven years of dancing at his peak, but left shoulder). “I love body art,” he says. it remains to be seen whether he will fulfill his potential. The master cho“It’s very addictive—that strange feeling when the needle penetrates your skin reographers Balanchine, Ashton, and and you feel someone cutting you. It’s MacMillan died in the 20th century, and there has been no one to replace constant pain, and you think your heart can’t take it. You squeeze your teeth them or to assemble the personal repand everything goes dark. I get a lot of ertory Polunin needs to develop his adrenaline from being tattooed. It’s like extraordinary gifts. Consequently, his when I dance. There’s a point when you career lies almost solely in his own run out of stamina and you’re fighting hands. In Moscow this March, he will for breath. You’re so tired and in so much tackle MacMillan’s three-act ballet pain, but that’s when the real feelings Mayerling, which was created to showcome out, when you show the real you.” case a male dancer, and in a special Polunin evening at the Stanislavsky Polunin is still a creature of the in October, he will appear in Roland night—“It’s when I’m most alive”— but for much of 2011 he allowed his Petit’s Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, dancoffstage antics to impair his ascent as ing the role that made a cult figure of a dancer. Lack of sleep made him lazy, Jean Babilée, and one that both Nureyev leaving him with little incentive to do and Baryshnikov claimed as their own. morning classes or to show up on time Whereas in the Royal Ballet Polunin felt for rehearsals. He was using cocaine to he had reached a plateau, in Russia he increase the rush of performing, and aphas found a way to challenge himself. peared in grave danger of burning out. “There’s this euphoria when you put in –SErGEI POLUNIN Then, one day toward the end of January the extra mile,” he says. “You surprise 2012, his life suddenly changed. Two days after breaking up with his yourself and enjoy the performance more than the audience does. I long-term girlfriend, a Royal Ballet soloist, he decided it was time to really feel that with age your body gets stronger and that every week it leave the company. The shock of his sudden defection caused a press gets easier. And now that I don’t have to think about technique, I can swim in it and it frees me to think of better things.” storm, reported in the States by The New York Times and The Huffington Post, among others. He says he “didn’t expect such a big boom.” It could be that Polunin’s future lies in being an inspirer himself. After drifting for several months and toying with the idea of joinHe is already influencing young colleagues with his subtle, cinematic approach to dramatic roles. “There’s no natural way of performing in ing the ABT or the Mariinsky—or even giving up ballet altogether— Russia. I’ve been trying to do as little movement as possible and find Polunin got a call from Igor Zelensky, a man his mother says “saved the courage to keep still. Just moving the eyes a little can change emoSerezha.” Former principal with the Kirov, the New York City Ballet, and the Royal Ballet, Zelensky, a magnetic Georgian, is now tions.” Recently he and Zelensky went to watch the Mariinsky school’s artistic director of Moscow’s Stanislavsky Ballet Theatre. The company graduating class and found themselves surrounded by pupils. “They is not as prestigious as the Bolshoi (which has courted Polunin), but all came running, calling out my name and taking pictures. That just he joined it because of Zelensky. “Igor was such a huge thing for me. shows how fast ballet news travels! It’s almost as if I’ve brought a new As a personality he’s very cool, always the heart of a party, and it’s still style to Russia—something those kids have never seen.” interesting to watch him perform—that charisma of a tall, big man Julie Kavanagh is a contributing editor of Intelligent Life and onstage.” Zelensky had heard all the stories about the wayward boy the author of Nureyev: The Life (Vintage), a definitive portrait of the and was determined to get him back on track. “People like Sergei can dancer. Her new biography, The Girl Who Loved Camellias: The Life be ripped apart,” he says. “I told him, like a father, like a brother, like and Legend of Marie Duplessis, is out from Knopf in June 2013 an older dancer, that he had to put all his energy, all his emotion, into
“DANCErS ArE TOO CONCErNED WITH POSITIONS, AND THE WILDNESS HAS GONE AWAy. BUT ONLy IN THAT WILDNESS CAN yOU EVEr rEALLy fOrGET yOUrSELf.”
Сергей Полунин - это парадокс, совмещающий в себе буйство влекавшим внимание не только поклонников балета, но и широкой Большого Города и грацию парящего ангела. Стоит этому двадцапублики. Точно так же, как и Нуриев, приобретший в свое время титрехлетнему танцору появиться на сцене, как по залу пробегает дурную славу посещениями нью-йоркских дискотек и арестами в притонах Хейт-Эшбери, Полунин начал попадать в новостную дрожь. Сегодня это наверно самый восхитительный танцор на свете. Еще недавно он был гордостью Королевского балета, где он хронику благодаря своим твитам об “эпических вечеринках”, наручился в юношеской и взрослой школе. Его взяли в труппу в 17 лет, котиках в клубах и салоне татуировок в Северном Лондоне, совлаи он быстро сделал карьеру. В 19 он уже был премьером - самым дельцем которого он являлся. Его партнером в бизнесе был Антони молодым в истории театра. И с первых же выступлений неотразЛаммин, парень с темным прошлым и навязчивой идеей по поводу им. В детстве он занимался спортивной гимнастикой, которая не Джокера в исполнении Хита Леджера. (Чем объясняется наличие только развила его врожденную пластичность, но и научила ритатуировки этого персонажа на левом плече самого Полунина.) - Мне нравится нательная живопись, - говорит он. - На это подсковать - что он делает с поразительной, взрывной виртуозностью. саживаешься. Странное ощущение, когда иголка проходит через В его танце мачизмо, свойственное русским мужчинам, не является самоцелью: у Полунина его сдерживает английская кожу, и тебе кажется, что тебя режут. Это постоянная боль, еще утонченность. Стоп-кадр на YouTube покажет вам верх совернемного, и кажется, что сердце не выдержит. Ты стискиваешь зубы, шенства в переходах от одного па к другому. Но его “звездность” у тебя темнеет в глазах. Я получаю вливание адреналина, когда не только в его феноменальной технике. Его власть над зрителем мне делают татуировку. Точно так же, как когда танцую. Наступает естественна. Ей нельзя научиться, ее невозможно приобрести или момент, когда ты без сил, тебе не хватает кислорода, и ты глотаешь даже описать. Ее можно лишь почувствовать. воздух. Ты без сил и тебе больно, но именно тогда проступает настоящее чувство. Именно тогда становишься самим собой. - YouTube убивает легенду танцора, - утверждает Полунин. - Там Полунин - сова. нельзя почувствовать силу, исходя- Я живу ночью. щую со сцены. В 2011 году проделки за пределаТри самых известных предшественника Полунина были свергами театра поставили под угрозу его телями святынь и пророками букарьеру. Хроническое недосыпание дущего. Они подрывали традиции породило лень. Ему уже не хотелось и прокладывали балету дорогу из вставать на утренние классы или восвоего века в следующий. Механивремя приходить на репетиции. Он ческие, кубистские позы Нежинсконачал употреблять кокаин чтобы заго были чересчур авангардистскими острить эмоции во время спектаклей для его времени. Нуриев совершил и вскоре оказался на грани срыва. В революцию в мужском танце, облаконце января 2012 года его жизнь нечаясь в женские одежды и заимствуя ожиданно и резко изменилась. Через женственные атрибуты балерин. Бадва дня после разрыва с многолетней рышников исполнял поразительные, подругой, солисткой Королевского никогда прежде не виданные комбибалета, он принял решение покинуть нации движений. Полунин заявляет труппу. Его неожиданный уход выо себе как о новом избраннике. Он звал бурную реакцию в прессе. В работает один в своей московской Америке об этом писали “Нью-Йорк студии, иногда до двух-до трех чаТаймс”, “Хаффингтон Пост” и другие сов ночи, изобретает новые па, рвет издания. Он утверждает, что “не ожиграницы классического танца с отдал такого взрыва.” вагой и динамизмом, свойственным .Затем он несколько месяцев болмолодости. тался без дела, собирался поступить - Я стараюсь придумывать свои то в Американский театр балета, то собственные движения, - объясняет в Мариинский - а то и вовсе бросить балет. И тут ему позвонил Игорь Зеон. - Большинство танцоров слиш–CЕРГЕЙ ПОЛУНИН ленский, про которого его мать говоком заняты позицией, и поэтому у рит, что он “спас Сережу”. Бывший премьер Кировского театра, них утеряна страсть. Но только отдаваясь этой страсти можно по-настоящему забытъся в образе. Балета Нью-Йорка и Королевского балета, Зеленский, обаятельВ детстве Полунина привлекали черно-белые фотографии Баный урожденец Грузии, сегодня руководит балетом Театра имени рышникова. Станиславского в Москве. Труппа не настолько престижная, как - В них была какая-то тайна, - говорит он. Он изучал видеозаБольшой - куда Полунина неоднократно пытались переманить - но писи своего кумира в “Дон Кихоте”, стараясь перенять его “заПолунин поступил в нее исключительно из-за Зеленского. - Игорь для меня важнейший человек. Он очень привлекательвисающие” прыжки. Владимир Васильев в “Спартаке” был для него образчиком советского мужчины, но зато Нуриев его не так ный, душа любой компании. За его выступлениями очень интересно впечатлял. Его стиль казался Полунину слишком женственным, наблюдать - это обаяние высокого, крупного мужчины на сцене. а его техника, по мнению Полунина, уступала его собственной. Зеленский был наслышан о гулящем украинском парне, но Довольно самоуверенно он утверждает: рассказам не верил и был полон решимости вернуть его в колею. - На меня больше действовали слова Нуриева, чем его танец. - Таких, как Сергей легко может разорвать, - утверждает он. Влияние звезд кино он чувствовал сильнее, чем влияние танцоЯ сказал ему как отец, как брат, как старший танцор: ты должен ров. Он засматривался на фотографии секс-символов - Джеймса вложить всю свою энергию, все эмоции, весь свой тестостерон Дина, Мики Рурка, Джонни Деппа. в работу. В нашем деле необходима дисциплина. Никому еще не удалось все время тусоваться и достичь совершенства. - Мать думала, что я гей, - смеется Полунин. - Но меня эти ребята вдохновляли. Мне нравился их стиль, их присутствие. Я С июня прошлого года Полунин находится “под крылом у Игоу них учился. ря”. Он следует его советам во всех новых предложениях, будь В Англии Полунин стал первым за многие годы танцором, прито выступление за границей или общение с прессой. Зеленский,
“БОЛьшИНствО таНцОРОв сЛИшкОм заНяты ПОзИцИЕЙ, И ПОэтОмУ У НИх УтЕРяНа стРасть. НО тОЛькО Отдаваясь этОЙ стРастИ мОжНО ПОНастОящЕмУ заБытъся в ОБРазЕ.”
роль, сделавшую Жана Бабиле культовой фигурой, роль в которой блистали в свое время Нуриев и Барышников. В Королевском балете Полунин чувствовал, что достиг вершины. В России он получил стимул заставить себя пойти дальше. - Когда ты заставляешь себя сделать этот новый шаг, наступает эйфория. Ты сам себя удивляешь, и получаешь больше удовольствия от выступления, чем зритель. Я чувствую, что с годами тело становится сильнее, с каждой неделей двигаться вперед становиться все легче и легче. Ты как бы выходишь на новый уровень. И теперь, когда я больше не должен думать от технике, у меня появляется свобода думать о более важных вещах. Возможно, будущее Полунина в том, чтобы самому вдохновлять. Он изучает, как танцуют его партнеры, и помогает им танцевать лучше. Он передает молодым коллегам свой тонкий, кинематографический подход к работе над ролью. - В России нет школы естественной актерской игры. Тут к этому не привыкли. Я пытаюсь двигаться как можно меньше, найти в себе смелость не двигаться вообще. Ведь одного взгляда достаточно, чтобы показать перемену чувств. Недавно они с Зеленским были на спектакле выпускного класса училища Мариинки. Там их обступили ученики. - Они подбежали ко мне и начали фотографировать. Видите, как быстро доходят новости в мире балета. Я как бы принес в Россию новый стиль - нечто, чего эти дети никогда не видели. Перевод: Алексей Байер. Джули Кавана - редакционный автор журнала “Intelligent Life”. В своей книге “Жизнь Нуриева” (издательство “Vintage”) она дает исчерпывающий портрет танцора. Ее новая биографическая работа, книга “Девушка, влюбленная в камелии. Жизнь и легенда Мари Дюплесси”, выйдет в издательстве “Knopf” в июне 2013 года.
Фото ГУс ваН саНт текст джУЛИ каваНа куратор дОмИНИк тЕжа сИдхУ
У НОвОЙ вОсхОдящЕЙ звЕзды БаЛЕта БОЛьшЕ НЕт жЕЛаНИя БУяНИть. ОН РаздвИГаЕт ГРаНИцы вОзмОжНОГО в таНцЕ.
Grooming ERIKA PARSONS Special thanks Celestine Agency
его семья и круг влиятельных олигархов теперь составляют его мир, и Полунин утверждает, что он вполне обходится без друзей своего возраста. - Таким образом, я могу концентрироваться на том, что я делаю, - говорит он. - Когда тебя считают лучшим в стране, это само по себе приносит счастье. Полунин, единственный ребенок разведенных родителей, провел ранние годы в Херсоне (где до сих пор проживает его отец) и Киеве, где он брал свои первые уроки танца и где его мать работает гардеробщицей в городской опере. По происхождению он русский, и поэтому в Москве, с родным языком, он должен был бы чувствовать себя как дома. Но поначалу он ощущал себя там чужим. - Как будто мне 12 лет, всему нужно учиться заново. Тут у людей другой менталитет. Например девушки. Российские девушки воспитаны иначе. Они требуют, чтобы за них платили в любых обстоятельствах. Все время приходит в голову мысль, что тебя используют. А в театре, чтобы что-либо было сделано почеловечески, за все нужно бороться. Слава Богу Игорь знает, как это нужно делать. Наверно, я смотрю на него и учусь брать ответственность на себя. У Полунина еще как минимум семь лет карьеры на пике формы, но неизвестно, сможет ли он воплотить свой талант до конца. Великие балетмейстеры - Баланчин, Аштон, МакМиллан - ушли вместе с ХХ веком, и им на смену никто не пришел. Сегодня никто не может создать того индивидуального репертуара, который необходим Полунину, чтобы развить свой экстраординарный дар. Его никогда не интересовал современный танец, и поэтому его выбор несколько ограничен. В марте в Москве он выступит в “Майерлинге” МакМиллана, балете из трех действий, созданном специально под танцора-звезду. На своем бенефисе в Театре Станиславского в октябре он будет танцевать балет Ролана Пети “Юноша и смерть” -
The relenTless spiriT of olympic gymnasT nadia comaneci, she of The seVen perfecT 10s, inspires grace in model magda laguinge and a new generaTion of dance sTars
Photography SebaStian Faena 72
Magda Laguinge wears Pants Y-3 All striped bodysuits (throughout) ALbertA roc All ballet slippers (throughout) bLoch
Magda wears Sweater SteLLA MccArtneY top and leggings Y-3
Danielle beechey wears bodysuit cAPeZIo
Magda wears on brows, Dior Powder eyebrow Pencil in chestnut
Danielle wears Jacket Lacoste
Magda wears top MArc JAcobS bodysuit MIchAeL KorS
Shade wears Jacket ProenZA SchoULer
Magda wears Jacket LAcoSte L!Ve
Danielle wears Jacket LAcoSte L!Ve
Danielle wears Sweater ALeXAnDer WAnG bodysuit GrIShKo
caitlin reverand wears on skin, JUrLIQUe rosewater balancing Mist
sînTem cu ToTii nadia comaneci text adina RoSetti
tunci cînd Nadia Comăneci, o fată de 14 ani, originară din Onești, România, s-a întors de la Jocurile Olimpice de vară de la Montreal și a văzut cei peste 10.000 de români veniți să o întîmpine la aeroport, s-a speriat și a fugit înapoi în avion. Obținuse nu mai puțin de 3 medalii de aur și 7 note de 10, devenind astfel prima gimnastă care a primit scorul perfect de zece la olimpiadă și un simbol național pentru milioane de români. Cei care o urmariseră, cu sufletul la gură, la televizor, voiau să se convingă că există și că e facută din carne și oase, la fel ca ei. Celebritatea Nadiei de-abia începea… Au urmat manifestații și cîntece compuse în onoarea ei, discursuri și decorații, zeci de mii de scrisori primite (multe dintre ele conținînd cereri în căsătorie), o păpușă care i-a purtat numele, o echipă ABC venită să filmeze un interviu cu “Steaua Jocurilor Olimpice” sau “Zeița de la Montreal”, cum a supranumit-o presa. Atunci cînd ai doar 14 ani și trăiești într-o țară comunistă, în care singurele “staruri” sînt cuplul de dictatori aflat la conducere, lucrurile astea par incredibile. La fel cum incredibil era ca o fată de 14 ani din Onești, România, să apară pe copertele a trei reviste importante din Statele Unite: Time, Newsweek, și Sports Illustrated. În 1976, atunci cînd Nadia a devenit campioană olimpică, eu încă nu mă născusem. Părinții mei, studenți amîndoi la vremea respectivă, își amintesc momentul, rămas în conștiința națională ca un simbol a cărui putere nu a pălit nici astăzi. Într-o țară în care libertatea individuală era profund îngrădită, reușita Nadiei a devenit reușita tuturor, speranța că undeva exista o breșă prin care realitatea cenușie a acelor vremuri putea fi învinsă. “Fiind copil, era foarte dificil să conștientizez ce s-a întîmplat atunci”, mi-a mărturisit Nadia în conversația telefonică pe care am avut-o în decembrie anul trecut. Se afla într-un hotel din New York, iar eu la București, stresată că n-am sa reușesc să aflu totul despre ea în cele 40 de minute pe care le avea la dispoziție. “La Montreal am făcut lucrul pe care-l făceam și acasă, zi de zi, cu echipa, doar că eram într-o sală cu 20.000 de oameni. Îmi aduc aminte fiecare clipă din concurs și fior de emoție. Frica aia, că ai o singură încercare… Și atunci, you’d better be good!”. Și a fost, mai mult decît “good”, a fost perfect. Atît de perfect, încît după exercițiul de la paralele tabela de marcaj a afișat nota 1.00, pentru că nu era programată să afișeze o notă formată din 4 cifre… Un alt moment antologic, care a contribuit la nașterea legendei. “Nimeni nu menționează cine a fost al doilea sau al treilea care a luat nota 10”, exprimă Nadia foarte bine una dintre regulile succesului: să fii cel mai bun și să fii primul. Cum nu sînt o fire sportivă și nu reușesc să mă țin nici măcar de fitness mai mult de cîteva luni, m-am întrebat adesea ce anume împinge un sportiv să meargă zilnic la antrenamente epuizante de ore întregi, să repete iarăși și iarăși aceleași mișcări, cu voința intensă ca în fiecare zi să se autodepășească. Ce te poate motiva să nu te oprești niciodată? Cum reușești să-ți faci corpul să te asculte? Ce e dincolo de perfecțiune? Ce înseamnă talentul? Probabil că era nevoie de o campioană olimpică, precum Nadia, ca să-mi explice un secret extrem de simplu. “Lucruri mici pe care trebuie să le faci mereu mai bine ca să ajungi la lucrurile mari”. O fetiță de 6 ani antrenîndu-se într-o sală de gimnastică dintr-un orășel de provincie nu se gîndește că va ajunge campioană olimpică. Simte doar bucuria de a face ceva ce-i place și merge înainte. Încearcă să fie mai bună, își dorește să fie lăudată. Nu renunță la gimnastică nici cînd se odihnește și nici cînd… doarme. “Făceam vizualizare. Stăteam în pat, închideam ochii și vedeam fiecare exercițiu la fiecare aparat. Vedeam totul în minte. Uneori chiar și visam că fac greșeli”, își amintește Nadia, după mai bine de 30 de ani. Nu crede în baghete magice, ci într-un singur lucru: “să muncești, să muncești, să muncești”, însă, cu toate astea,
recunoaște și că în viață există “ceva mai presus”, anumite momente cînd “se aliniază toate stelele la timpul potrivit”. Momentul ei s-a numit 18 iulie, Montreal 1976, cînd a uimit o lume întreagă. Habar nu avea pe atunci că momentul acesta avea să fie sursă de inspirație pentru mulți oameni care visau să ajungă departe, precum Celine Dion, care i-a declarat că văzînd-o, a început să-și dorească “să facă ceva cu viața ei”, sau cîntărețul de muzică country Garth Brooks, care și-a dorit să întîlnească doi oameni: pe Elvis Presley și Nadia Comăneci. Cînd, după ani si ani, i-a cunoscut pe cei de la Rolling Stones și i-au oferit o chitară cu semnăturile lor, spunîndu-i că au urmărit-o la televizor la Jocurile Olimpice, Nadiei nu i-a venit să creadă. “Mi-am închipuit că ei au lucruri mult mai importante de făcut decît să urmarească o fată de 14 ani din România”, mi-a spus amuzată. Fără să vrea, Nadia a devenit pentru a doua oară un simbol pentru o generație întreagă din România anilor ’80, cei mai crunți ani pe care i-a cunoscut această țară sub dictatura comunistă. Într-o noapte la sfîrșitul lui Noiembrie 1989, cu mai puțin de o lună înainte de Revoluția care a adus sfîrșitul regimului, Nadia Comăneci (în vîrstă de 28 ani) a făcut parte dintr-un grup care a trecut ilegal granița spre Ungaria, solicitînd în cele din urmă azil politic Statelor Unite. Atunci cînd “a living legend” se hotarăște să părăsească țara, e un semn că limitele au fost prea mult încălcate. Plecarea ei a fost privită ca o palmă dată regimului comunist, chiar cînd începuse să se clatine. Nadia a plecat în căutarea libertății, dintr-o țară în care se simțea îngrădită. În ciuda faimei sale internaționale, în anii ’80 a supraviețuit la fel ca orice alt cetățean al Republicii Socialiste România. Mai mult, în ultimii ani, mai ales după fuga antrenorului ei Bella Karoly în America, i se refuza cu îndîrjire și fără nici un fel de explicații orice plecare în străinătate, de unde primea nenumărate invitații de a participa la evenimente sportive. “Se umpluse paharul, stăteam în țară și nu puteam face nimic. Voiam să pot să fac ce știu.” Poate că acela a fost al doilea moment în care “stelele s-au aliniat” și viața ei a intrat pe un nou făgaș. Experiența americană a învățat-o pe Nadia cît de important este să “give back something”. Vocea ei a ezitat cîteva momente la telefon și, în cele din urmă, a ales expresia în engleză (to give back), deși conversația noastră s-a desfășurat în română. “În România noi făceam caritate doar pentru familia noastră sau pentru prieteni. Nu exista conceptul de voluntariat”. Încurajată de soțul ei, Bart Conner, la rîndul lui campion olimpic, a început să participe la proiecte caritabile. Astazi, Nadia călătorește enorm și este implicată în cauze precum Muscular Dystrophy Association sau International Special Olympics, și a deschis în România o fundație care-i poartă numele și care vine în sprijinul copiilor care doresc să facă performanță, nu numai în sport. Într-o lume în care mișcarea ocupă din ce în ce mai puțin loc în viața noastră compusă din birou-mașină-laptop-realitate-virtuală, Nadia simte că rolul ei este să vorbească despre beneficiile sportului. “Locul meu e unde mă pricep. Le explic părinților de ce e bine să motivăm copiii să facă un sport, de ce e importantă mișcarea”. Continuă să se antreneze o oră pe zi, chiar dacă petrece destul de mult timp în avion, zburînd între mai multe continente pentru evenimentele și acțiunile caritabile la care participă. Nu are alt regret în afară de cel al timpului care zboară prea repede și declară că niciodată nu s-a gîndit să renunțe la ceea ce face. Cu toate că este un star internațional, Nadia a rămas aceeași persoană caldă, cu care poți să stai de vorbă relaxat, avînd senzația că o cunoști de-o viață. După cum spune și pe pagina ei de Twitter: “Yes, it’s me, Nadia Elena Comăneci, Olympic Gold medalist from Onești, România.” Adina Rosetti este scriitoare și jurnalistă. Locuiește la București, România. Romanul ei de debut, Deadline (editura Curtea Veche) prezintă subtile detalii din viața în post-comunismul românesc.
we are all nadia comaneci Words adina RoSetti
hen Nadia Comaneci, then a 14-year-old girl, returned to her home country from the 1976 summer Olympic Games, she was greeted by a crowd of 10,000 of her compatriots, and got so scared she ran back onto the plane. Nadia had won three gold medals and notched seven perfect 10s—a score never before achieved by a gymnast—and in the process had become a symbol of hope for millions of her fellow Romanians. Those who had breathlessly watched her on TV wanted to confirm she was made of flesh and blood just like them. And Nadia’s star had just begun to rise. What followed were thousands of adoring letters, marriage proposals, tribute songs, and other expressions of love and esteem, as well as a children’s doll that bore her name and an ABC camera crew following the life of “the goddess of Montreal,” as the press called her. To a teenager living in a Communist country, where the only celebrities were the dictators in charge, these things seemed utterly incredible. Indeed it was rather incredible that a 14-year-old girl from Onesti, Romania, would appear on the cover of three of the most prominent American magazines: Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. Like Nadia, I am Romanian. But in 1976, when she became an Olympic champion, I hadn’t yet been born. My parents, however, who were students at the time, remember the moment when Nadia became an icon—an icon who has not lost her impact and significance up to this day. In a country where personal freedom was profoundly limited, Nadia’s accomplishment served as everyone’s accomplishment. It reflected the hope that somewhere there existed a crack through which one could escape the dark reality of the times. “Being a child back then, it was very hard to acknowledge what had just happened,” Nadia says today. “In Montreal I just did what I was doing at home, day after day, together with my team. It’s just that I was in a hall packed with 20,000 people. I remember every single second of the competition and every single tremor of emotion. I remember that fear you get when you’ve only got one go at something. Which means you’d better be good!” Of course Nadia was more than just good. She was perfect. Following her performance on the uneven parallel bars the scoreboard showed the number 1.00, because it had not been programmed to show scores composed of four figures.
Nadia’s rise to international superstardom may have happened in the blink of an eye, but she says she saw it all coming. “I would visualize,” she explains. “I would lie in my bed, eyes closed, and I would picture every exercise on every apparatus. I would see everything in my mind, including the mistakes.” And while Nadia believes there’s nothing to success but “work, work, work,” she admits to believing in “something beyond, a moment when stars align themselves.” She believes in fate. In 1989, Nadia inadvertently became a symbol of her country for a second time, when she escaped it. On a night in late November, a little less than a month before the revolution that brought an end to the Communist regime, Nadia, then 28, joined a group who illegally crossed the border into Hungary, eventually seeking political asylum in the United States. When a symbol of a nation decides to flee, it is a sign that all limits have been violated and all lines crossed. Nadia’s departure stood as an indictment of the Communist regime and came at the very moment it had begun to crumble. Despite her international fame in the ’80s, Nadia had struggled to survive just like any other citizen of the Socialist Republic of Romania. During the last years of that decade, after her coach, Bela Karolyi, had left the country for the U.S., she was strictly forbidden to travel abroad, which prevented her from competing in sporting events. “The glass had become full,” she remembers. “I was staying in my country and I couldn’t do anything. I wanted to do what I was good at.” Almost 25 years later, Nadia resides in Oklahoma City with her husband, Bart Conner, himself an Olympic champion. The generosity of Americans has taught her the importance of giving back, and she has joined several charitable projects, like the International Special Olympics. Nadia has also initiated an eponymous foundation that encourages children to participate in sports and education. She often speaks about the benefits of athletics, and she still trains for an hour every day. She may have left behind both the bright lights of Olympic stadiums and the dark shroud of Communism, but Nadia in 2013 is not very different from the Nadia of 1976. As she writes in her Twitter bio: “Yes, it’s me, Nadia Elena Comaneci, Olympic Gold medalist from Onesti, Romania.” Translated from the Romanian by Anca Fronescu. Adina Rosetti is a writer and journalist based in Bucharest, Romania. Her 2010 debut novel, Deadline (Editura Curtea Veche), examines post-Communist life in her native country
Shade Mazer wears Jacket chAneL bodysuit AMerIcAn APPAreL
Danielle wears Jacket and shoes Y-3
Magda wears Dress toM ForD Leggings eMILIo cAVALLInI Shoes Y-3
Magda wears Jacket Y-3
Danielle wears Sweater Chanel Makeup Violette using Dior hair akki Manicure Mar y Soul for CoverGirl Choreographer Desiree Sanchez (Chelsea Piers Gymnastics) Set design anthony asaro Special thanks Chelsea Piers Gymnastics, Galaxy Gymnastics, and the Gymnastics training Center of Rochester
A dancerâ€™s wardrobe moves with balletic grace, accented with DARING touches of fur and flashes of fiery scarLET
Photography ANTHONY MAULE 90
Sam Rollinson wears Jacket, pants, scarf Ralph lauRen ColleCtion Bra eReS Fur shoes CÃ©line
top, pants, fur shoes CĂŠline
Bustier and pants BalenCiaga By niColaS gheSquiĂ¨Re Fur stole Milady Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Bodysuit and pants lanvin Fur stole Milady Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Fur stole, bra, skirt pRada Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Bra and pants azzedine alaĂŻa Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Top and pants Givenchy by RiccaRdo Tisci Fur shoes cĂŠline
Fur jacket Fendi vest and pants BouChRa JaRRaR Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Fur top toM FoRd Shorts alexandeR Wang Shoes Manolo Blahnik
top and pants J.W. andeRSon Fur shoes CĂŠline Makeup violette using dior hair MaRC lopez Manicure Brenda abrial Choreographer audrey Roehrich production Jed Root europe
It Doesn’t Get Better John GIorno, leGenD of poetry anD performance, reflects on the DIvIne anD the empty nature of mInD Words and artwork John GIorno
Stuck in a traffic jam and the scenery is beautiful, irritating gusts of boredom, and the radio is playing, if you don’t like my oceans don’t swim in my seas, you can’t hurt me, cause storms can’t hurt the sky, sugar skulls and long necklaces of rotting human skulls of police officers, lawyers and judges the triumph over abuse and injustice, fat chance, ring da alarm, I could not save you, you are addicted to anger and complaining, when you have hepatitis everything looks yellow, my anger ate the goose that laid the golden eggs, thick bacon and a little something sweet, and a most surprising change is being the god of your enemy, the eagles fly below us. The illusion that makes life bearable the illusion that makes life bearable the illusion that makes life bearable, when you lose the illusion that makes life bearable, when you lose the illusion that makes life bearable, when you’ve lost whatever it is you believed or invented, were imprinted or scarred by, unthinkable loss, deluded inside delusion inside delusion inside delusion, everything is delusion including wisdom, and then, there are the illusions, that make life bearable the illusions that make life bearable, the illusions that make life bearable, abiding in the continual flow, I’m here to do whatever is your pleasure, empty words, gone without a trace. All I had to do, was get through it all I had to do was get through it all I had to do was get through it, I almost got through it, you can’t win you can’t break even and you can’t even quit the game, and happily, very soon, I will remember nothing, the sand is snow. You will find your true love in the end you will find your true love in the end, you will find your true love in the end, when you die you will find your true love in your mind, when you die you will find your true mind, in the deepest night is the brightest light, clear, unlocatable, emptiness awareness. 102
WE GAVE A PARTY FOR THE GODS courtesy the artist; Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York; Galerie Almine Rech, Paris & Brussels; Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Special thanks Mark Michaelson
It doesn’t get better it doesn’t get better, it doesn’t get any better, it doesn’t get any better than this, it doesn’t get any more fabulous; and as bad as it is, it does not get any better.
An exclusive journey into the Archives of six designers yields A fAntAsy of fAshion And performAnce At the legendAry moulin rouge Photography Vincent Van de Wijngaard Wardrobe director Melanie HuynH
AZZedine AlAÏA This page: Saskia de Brauw wears Bustier, shorts, belt S/S 1991 Hat Thierry Colson Opposite page from left: Bara Holotova wears Bra and skirt S/S 2013 Benthe de Vries wears Dress Haute Couture S/S 2003 Lida Fox wears Jacket and skirt S/S 2013 Soo Joo Park wears Top and skirt Haute Couture S/S 2010 All shoes AZZEDINE ALAïA 104
BAlenciAgA By nicolAs ghesquière From left: Lida wears Dress S/S 2003 Karolijn Zomer wears Dress and gloves S/S 2009 Benthe wears Dress S/S 2006 Necklace Naila de Monbrison Bara wears Top and skirt S/S 2008 Necklace, earrings, bracelet Boutique Liwan Soo Joo wears Jacket, top, skirt S/S 2013 Saskia wears Dress S/S 2005 Bracelet Monies All shoes BALENCIAgA By NICOLAS gHESquIèrE
givenchy By riccArdo tisci This page from left: Marte Mei Van Haaster wears Dress S/S 2010 Bracelet Naila de Monbrison Karolijn wears Jacket and pants S/S 2008 Necklace Naila de Monbrison Saskia wears Top and skirt S/S 2011 Lida wears Jacket and pants S/S 2012 Bracelet Monies Opposite page: Benthe wears Dress S/S 2013 Soo Joo wears Jacket and skirt S/S 2012 All shoes gIVENCHy By rICCArDO TISCI
versAce Saskia (top of stairs) wears Top and skirt Atelier Versace S/S 1996 Bracelet Dary’s Karolijn (walking down stairs) wears Dress Atelier Versace F/W 1997 From left: Bara wears Dress F/W 1992 Lida wears Dress S/S 2013 Pointe shoes repetto Bracelet Dary’s Marte wears Dress F/W 1992 Hat from Boutique El Paso Soo Joo wears Top and skirt F/W 1992 Opposite page: Marte (far left) wears Hat Harpo
rAlph lAuren collection From left: Lida wears Vest and dress F/W 1997 Hat El Inti Eliza Sys wears Dress and hat S/S 2013 Jacket F/W 1997 Stef wears Jacket, shirt, hat, necklace S/S 2013 Pants F/W 1997 Soo Joo wears Jacket F/W 1997 Hat El Inti
prAdA This page: Marte wears Jacket and top S/S 1996 Opposite page from left: Bara wears Top and skirt S/S 2011 Karolijn wears Top and skirt S/S 2004 Saskia wears Jacket, top, skirt S/S 2013 Lida wears Top and skirt S/S 2000 Soo Joo wears Dress S/S 2007 All socks S/S 2013 Makeup VIOLETTE using Dior Hair guILLAuME BErArD Manicure Christina Conrad using Dior Production Daniel Hettmann (Zoâ€™estica)
Dim Dam Dom title sequence, Peter Knapp, 24/02/1968, Copyright Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, INA
A TRIBUTE TO
In a fashion season glancing backward at the ’60s, the iconic French television show is once again a point of reference Photography JEAN–BAPTISTE MONDINO 116
From left: Stef Van Der Laan, Soo Joo Park, and Marte Mei Van Haaster wear Clothing DOLCE & GABBANA Shoes BRIAN ATWOOD Hats EUGENIA KIM
From left: Wang Xiao, Benthe de Vries, Bara Holotova, and Marte wear Clothing and shoes ALEXANDER WANG Lida Fox (on pointe) wears Top and skirt CHRISTOPHER KANE Pointe shoes (throughout) REPETTO
Peter KnaPP et le culte de dim dam dOm Texte SylvIA JOrIf
n vous parle d’une émission que les moins de quarante ans ne peuvent pas connaître. Mais pour qui aime la mode, Dim Dam Dom est un idéal de vision fashionable. Dim Dam Dom, autrement dit Dim(anches), Dam(es), D(h)om(mes), est un magazine mensuel qui naît en 1965, au temps de l’ORTF (ouch !), la télévision d’état française, qui ne compte alors que deux chaînes (oui !). Nous sommes au cœur de la société gaullienne, « la société de papa » comme disent les jeunes de l’époque de plus en plus impatients de s’exprimer. La mode, elle opère déjà sa révolution avec l’explosion du prêt-à-porter, un scandale qu’à du mal admettre la très solennelle haute couture. Cardin a envie d’un luxe pour toutes, Yves Saint Laurent imagine les femmes en pantalon, et Courrèges, ah Courrèges, commet un acte quasi politique avec sa mini-jupe qui apparaît cette même année ! Le tout, supporté et mis en scène par l’extrême créativité des grands magasins comme les Galeries Lafayette ou Prisunic. En ce temps là, un seul magazine référence suit, accompagne, applaudit cette société du changement : Elle, fondée par Hélène Lazareff qui se sent fondamentalement proche du désir d’émancipation des femmes qui entrent dans la vie active, et accueille l’expression d’une parole féminine libérée. Elle est accompagnée par une équipe follement créative : Daisy de Galard à la mode et le grand Peter Knapp à la direction artistique. Et c’est donc au cœur de cette France bouillonnante que Claude Contamine, directeur de l’ORTF, demande à Daisy de Galard de créer une émission de télévision sans contrainte de budget ni d’audience (le rêve !). Daisy de Galard est désespérée : les types de la télévision de ne comprennent rien à vision : elle veut du mouvement, des filles qui courent, rient, sautent. Des femmes impertinentes et heureuses qui sont pleinement dans la vie. Pas des cadres fixes qui les enferment dans le petit écran. Elle appelle donc son grand confrère de la presse Peter Knapp à la rescousse qui a déjà établit tous les principes de la série de mode moderne dans le magazine Elle. Un mythe est en marche… Peter Knapp a aujourd’hui quatre-vingt-un ans, il n’a pas changé, c’est un grand artiste avec des rêves d’un photographe de vingt ans ! Il expose, il photographie, il peint : son univers foisonnant est toujours aussi moderne ! Il se souvient très bien des mots de Daisy, comme si c’était hier : « Elle me dit ‘Écoute, les gars ne savent pas filmer de la mode. J’ai besoin de toi, trouve-moi des photographes qui vont filmer les femmes. C’est ainsi que je suis devenu le directeur artistique de cette émission. » Et c’est toute la particularité de cette émission culte : tous les amis étaient bienvenus pour y apporter leur créativité dans un esprit léger et enthousiaste. « L’important, reprend Peter Knapp, c’était le collectif, le bouillonnement entre nous, c’était follement incarné. C’était le bonheur des années 60. » Ainsi, la liste de ceux qui ont apporté leur pierre à cette émission est affolante ! Tout au long de ces années, c’est un générique de rêve qui a défilé. Quelques noms : Just Jaeckin, Jeanloup Sieff, François Weyergans, Marguerite Duras, Françoise Sagan, David Bailey, Jean-François Jonvelle, Jean-Christophe Averty, Roland Topor, Michel Polac, Marc Hispard, Agnès Varda, Claude Lanzmann… Tous ont participé à cette incroyable utopie visuelle devant tour à tour, réalisateurs, journalistes, interviewers, metteurs en scène… Le parti-pris de cette émission était le découpage en scénettes drolatiques et très dynamique, le tout composé comme des tableaux vivants
où les mannequins formaient d’incroyables tableaux très graphiques. « On recréait des défilés, se souvient Peter Knapp, on refaisait les collections. C’était la pleine époque de l’Op Art. On composait des images très graphiques de rayures qui se confrontaient, des images saturées de motifs. De vraies compositions photographiques. » D’ailleurs, bien avant l’avènement des caméras numériques où l’on peut extraire des photos de grande qualité, Peter Knapp avec sa caméra 16mm était le pionnier de l’image « fixe-en mouvement ». Peter Knapp explique : « Je voulais décadrer, des gros plans sur les jambes, des parties du corps… Les caméras à moteur n’existaient pas. J’ai donc acheté une Paillard Bolex 16mm pour suivre une perspective de mouvements. Je faisais courir les filles, monter ou descendre de trottoirs, sauter et je tirais des images du films comme sur une planche contact. » Autre particularité du Dim Dam Dom : les présentatrices, toutes des stars en devenir et qui le temps d’une émission étaient des speakerines débutantes, l’équivalent de nos it-girls d’aujourd’hui. Ainsi ont balbutié devant la caméra : Romy Schneider, Françoise Hardy, Mireille Darc, Marie Laforêt, Jeanne Moreau… engagées comme des chroniqueuses d’un jour. Le tout dans une ambiance joyeusement foutraque comme rappelle Peter Knapp : « C’était si spontané. J’achetais mes pellicules moi-même et me faisais rembourser avec mon ticket de caisse ! Les filles se trompaient dans leurs textes ! Ce n’était pas grave on laissait. On montait vite les séquences avec de la musique dessus ou des sons bizarre et hop c’était fait ! On voulait la spontanéité. La gaieté, le naturel. Ce qui est devenu au final la signature de cette émission. » Les amoureux de la mode savent qu’il y a des moments d’anthologie dans Dim Dam Dom. Comme Agnès Varda filmant une scène de ménage entre Louis Aragon et Elsa Triolet. Comme Marguerite Duras allant interviewer une strip-teaseuse. Comme Jacques Chazot effaré devant la colère de la grande Gabrielle Chanel qui déteste la vulgarité de la vie moderne et hurle dans la caméra : « Les femmes qui portent la culotte, ça me dégoûte ! ». Comme Yves Saint Laurent y allant de son pamphlet sur l’impossible goût bourgeois ou mettant en scène dans un dessin animé son personnage « la Vilaine Lulu », devenant scénariste d’un jour ! Peter Knapp lui aussi a sa séquence préférée : « Quand André Courrèges me parla de sa mini-jupe ! Malgré ce qu’on peut croire, je ne suis pas un homme de mode. Mais il m’a raconté ces femmes qui devaient aller travailler, bouger, marcher, descendre des escaliers, entrer dans des voitures. Il fallait leur trouver un vêtement facile qui permette aux jambes de s’exprimer. Raccourcir les robes était la meilleure des solutions. Mais cela veut dire qu’il fallait solutionner aussi le problème des bas : et bien inventons les collants. Quelle idée géniale. C’était fonctionnelle avant tout : sans fioriture et sans idées artistes. Moi qui venais de l’école Bauhaus, cela me parlait tellement ! J’aimais la mode quand elle devenait une réaction ! » Peter Knapp a réalisé quarante deux émissions de Dim Dam Dom (dont le dernier numéro fut diffusé en février 1971), réjouissantes et encore follement moderne aujourd’hui, parce que joyeusement impertinentes. Quel est ce secret de jeunesse ? Le secret il est là : tous ces fabuleux acteurs de l’époque n’avaient pas conscience qu’ils construisaient l’émission de mode la plus chic du monde. Ils participaient juste à une époque qui changeait devant eux et voulaient dans cet incroyable mouvement. C’était juste la liberté. Et la liberté, n’est-ce pas le summum du chic ?
Right: Still from Dim Dam Dom, 1967. Photography Peter Knapp
PeteR KnaPP and the cult of dim dam dom Words Sylvia Jorif
“We were re-creating fashion shows,” Knapp recalls, “redoing collections. It was the height of Op Art. We composed incredible images with stripes that clashed, images crowded with motifs. Truly photographic compositions.” What’s more, long before the advent of digital movie cameras that can produce high-quality stills, Knapp and his 16mm camera were pioneering “motion blur” pictures. “I wanted off-center images, close-ups of legs and body parts,” Knapp explains. “The motorized camera didn’t exist yet, so I bought a Paillard Bolex 16mm with a view to movement. I made the girls run, step on and off the sidewalk, jump up in the air, and I pulled shots from the film as if from a contact sheet.” Another unique thing about Dim Dam Dom is that its presenters were all stars in the making who, for the span of a single show apiece, were novice hosts, the equivalent of today’s It Girls. And so, stammering before the camera were Romy Schneider, Françoise Hardy, Mireille Darc, Marie Laforêt, and Jeanne Moreau. It all made for a deliciously loony scene. “It was so spontaneous,” Knapp recalls. “I’d buy my film myself and get reimbursed with a receipt. The girls would get their lines wrong. It didn’t matter, we just left it. We’d cut together sequences on the fly with music or weird noises, and ta-da, it was done! We wanted spontaneity, gaiety, naturalness. Which is, in the end, what became the show’s trademark.” Fashion lovers looked to Dim Dam Dom for unforgettable moments. Like Agnès Varda shooting a domestic squabble between Louis Aragon and Elsa Triolet. Or Marguerite Duras interviewing a stripper. Or Jacques Chazot alarmed by the wrath of the great Gabrielle Chanel, who abhorred the vulgarity of modern life and screamed at the camera, “Women who wear pants disgust me!” One time, Yves Saint Laurent got on his soapbox about impossible bourgeois taste, then in another episode he became screenwriter for a day with his animated character Naughty Lulu. Knapp has a favorite sequence: “When Courrèges talked to me about his miniskirt!” Although the director admits that despite appearances he never was a true fashionista. “I’m not a man of fashion, but he spoke to me of women who had to walk, move around, go to work, climb up and down stairs, and get in and out of cars. They needed easy clothes that would let their legs express themselves. Shortening dresses was the best solution. But that also meant solving the problem of stockings. Well, why not invent hose? I came from the Bauhaus school so that really spoke to me. I loved fashion when it caused a reaction.” Knapp directed 42 episodes of Dim Dam Dom, which went off the air in February 1971. The joyous cheekiness of these episodes remains as infectious and modern as ever. The secret of their timelessness lies in the fact that none of these fabulous actors and collaborators had the slightest clue they were making the world’s chicest fashion program. They were merely living in a world that was changing before their eyes, and wanted to be part of that incredible movement. Dim Dam Dom was simply a show about freedom. And isn’t freedom the height of chic?
eaders under the age of 40 may not be familiar with Dim Dam Dom, the televised fashion phenomenon from the ’60s, but for style lovers with a long memory, the show still retains its influence. Dim Dam Dom—or Dim(anches), Dam(es), D(h)om(mes) [Sundays, Ladies, Gents]—launched as a monthly variety show in 1965. Those were the days of the French Office of Radio and Television, when the country had only two channels. De Gaulle’s France (called “Daddy’s France” by the younger generation) was in full swing, and a fashion revolution was underway in the form of ready-to-wear, a scandal that fans of haute couture, in their solemnity, had difficulty accepting. Cardin sought luxury for everyone, Yves Saint Laurent saw women in pants, and Courrèges— ah, Courrèges!—committed an almost political act with his miniskirt, which debuted the same year as the show. Such powerful expressions, presented with extreme creativity by les grands magasins, like Galeries Lafayette and Prisunic, made style a national pastime. In those days, only one magazine of record documented the changing face of France: Elle, founded by Hélène Lazareff, which spoke to women entering the workplace and welcomed expressions of the liberated female. Lazareff was accompanied by a brilliant creative team: Daisy de Galard, as fashion editor, and the great photographer Peter Knapp, as artistic director. This was the climate in which Claude Contamine, the director of the French Office of Radio and Television, gave Galard free rein to create a television show without restrictions on budget or content. Galard immediately imagined an antidote to the stale, lifeless television programs of the time. She wanted color, movement, and happy girls laughing and jumping—not static shots boxing them into a small screen. So she called on Knapp, who at Elle had already established all the principles of the modern fashion story. And a myth was in the making. Today, at 81, Knapp remains an artiste who is young at heart. He photographs, paints, stages exhibitions: his world is still a reflection of the times. But he remembers Galard’s words as if they were spoken yesterday: “She said, ‘Look, the boys have no idea how to shoot fashion. I need you. Find me photographers who can shoot women.’ That’s how I became the show’s artistic director.” And it was Knapp’s keen eye that made the cult show so special. Yet he always maintained an openness, and in a spirit of breezy enthusiasm friends were always welcome to bring their own creativity into the mix. “The important part was what emerged collectively; together we had a mad effervescence,” Knapp says. Indeed, the staggering list of luminaries who contributed images and ideas to Dim Dam Dom includes Just Jaeckin, Jeanloup Sieff, François Weyergans, Marguerite Duras, Françoise Sagan, David Bailey, JeanFrançois Jonvelle, Jean-Christophe Averty, Roland Topor, Michel Polac, Marc Hispard, Agnès Varda, and Claude Lanzmann, among others. They were all part of this visual splendor, passing by turns before cameramen, reporters, interviewers, and directors. The show favored scenelets that were droll and lively, all composed as tableaux vivants in which the models formed highly arresting images.
Translated from the French by Edward Gauvin
Left: Still from Dim Dam Dom, 1965. Photography Peter Knapp
Lida wears Dress JIL SANDER On eyes, M.A.C COSMETICS Eye Shadow in Atlantic Blue and Goldmine
From left: Stef, Bara, and Marte wear Clothing CHANEL Visors COURRÃˆGES
Wang and Marte wear Clothing and shoes BALENCIAGA BY NICOLAS GHESQUIÃˆRE
Lida wears Dress vintage STEPHEN SPROUSE Necklace CHANEL FINE JEWELRY On lips, M.A.C COSMETICS Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Everyday Diva
From left: Benthe, Bara, Marte, Stef, and Wang wear Clothing and shoes LOUIS VUITTON Lida (center) wears Clothing VALENTINO
From left: Soo Joo wears Dress vintage STEPHEN SPROUSE Sunglasses OAKLEY Lida wears Top LOEWE Stef wears Dress vintage STEPHEN SPROUSE Sunglasses RAY-BAN
Lida wears Dress VERSACE
Bara and Marte wear Clothing SAINT LAURENT BY HEDI SLIMANE Shoes MANOLO BLAHNIK Lida wears Clothing EMILIO PUCCI
Wang and Soo Joo wear Jackets MONCLER Skirts GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI Shoes GIANVITO ROSSI
From left: Marte, Soo Joo, Benthe, Bara, and Wang wear Clothing MICHAEL KORS Shoes MANOLO BLAHNIK Lida (center) wears Dress DIOR Makeup CAROLE COLOMBANI using M.A.C Cosmetics Hair ODILE GILBERt Manicure Huberte Cesarion Choreographer Audrey Roehrich Set design Renaud Deschamps On-set producer Mia Meliava
A dramatic beauty look exaggerated for the stage. A visual expression of character and emotion. A performer caught between spectator and spectacle
Photography SARA VANDERBEEK With the inspired makeup of TOM PECHEUX and the inventive hairstyles of ORLANDO PITA 136
Stef Van Der Laan wears Bodysuit FENDI On face, EStÃ©E LauDEr Pure Color Stay-On Shadow Paint in Steel 137
Sam rollinson wears Bodysuit tHEYSKENS’ tHEOrY Shoes (throughout) CaPEZIO On eyes, EStéE LauDEr Pure Color EyeShadow in Black Crystals
Sam wears Dress CaLVIN KLEIN COLLECtION On face, EStÃ©E LauDEr Bronze Goddess Powder in Medium
Stef and Sam wear Dresses DIOr On faces, EStĂŠE LauDEr Pure Color Stay-On Shadow Paint in Sinister
Stef wears top BaLENCIaGa BY NICOLaS GHESquIèrE On lips, EStéE LauDEr Pure Color Lipstick in Plum Couturee
Sam wears Clothing BELSTAFF Makeup TOM PECHEUX using EstĂŠe Lauder Hair ORLANDO PITA for Orlo Salon Manicure Honey Choreographer Anna Griffin Lighting director Chris Bisagni Set design Jacob Dyrenforth Photographic production Garrett Rowland
She deliverS a maSterpiece—Several timeS a day. the preeminent author’S twitter feed iS a fount of humor, wiSdom, and reflectionS on the dark heart of humanity. here, a few of the moSt eSSential Words JOYCE CAROL OATES Artwork RObERT GObER
Tweets that had once seemed airy & transient as dandelion seed now acquiring gravitas if “downloaded” & “collected”... Is this good?
A stalker is a kind of murderer-in-fantasy--but what he stalks is probably some distorted image of his “self ” & no actual being.
Special category of guilt: piano-owners who have not touched a key between tunings.
“Before I became ‘infallible,’ sometimes I had to say I was wrong. Or sorry.”
Re. Mike Tyson: Not only are there “second acts” in American life but third, fourth, fifth....
Embarrassing to learn that my entire hometown in western NY vanished earlier today in a sinkhole.
Contacted by my obituary-writer for the N Y Times & asked if I would like to contribute a line or two.... “Will miss you all.”
If God disappeared, would gods (re)appear? Difficult to be an “eccentric recluse” if no one notices.
Unable to comprehend the appeal of HD TV. There is too much HD all around us & in mirrors without subscribing for more.
Don’t want to think why the Sunday Style section of the NY Times is made of paper stock strikingly whiter than the other sections.
How many individuals, offered a chance to become another person, blindly, pure chance, would hesitate a moment & say--”Yes”?
Ever-aging world will be divided between those who are addicted to painkillers & those who, not yet in pain, prosecute them as criminals.
Some chimps, seeing their reflections in mirrors, rub at red dots inked on their foreheads. But does this mean they see “themselves”?
Most effective household pesticide 1 bottle vigorously shaken Pepsi-Cola sprayed out onto insect swarms. Repeat.
Without memory, is pain truly “pain”?
Cessation of pain is the new happiness. Abrupt cessation, the greatest high.
Following a death in the family it is not a good idea to give away clothes & possessions too quickly. Such loss is irreversible.
A tweet is an arrow into the heart of the unknown.
Chilling moment when Hemingway as a boy “sights” his father in the scope of his rifle, as he tells a friend--but doesn’t pull trigger.
Deflating to realize that you might not be the only person who didn’t much want to come here.
Life is a video game with actual blood.
Envy of shoppers convinced that happiness lies in the next purchase, or the next, or the next...
Is there a cruelty in crowds greater than the sum of “cruelty” in individuals? If so, from what does it spring? Gravest & most irremediable errors are in the details.
Gratitude is sharpest in retrospect--when you’ve lost what it was you were grateful for.
Behind the “formulaic” is the raw, beating heart.
Latest earth-photos from space reveal planet to be gigantic hospice.
The professional tries to recall the joy that he/she once felt as an amateur.
Rumor that this Christmas a merciful Pope may “empty out” Hell at last with click of delete key.
An ideal tweet is the last line of a poem not visible.
RInging phones evoke a past that doesn’t feel as recent as it is.
Know little about “writers’ block” but guess it is somewhere in Park Slope & not cheap.
Thoughts that lie too deep for words can never be tweeted. Emptying thousands of emails into the trash, & incinerating the trash--each had seemed important at the time, & some crucial.
Marriage is a train with unscheduled stops. “A mere tweet consoles us, for a mere tweet distresses us.” (Pascal)
Try to arrange for the really nicest things to happen to you while your parents are still alive.
Does frequent tweeting accelerate the disintegration of the personality, or impede it?
Friends who are great cooks invite you to dinner 2 hours beforehand & you can’t make it & then you don’t hear from them again for years.
Belated news--the world had actually ended the other night, & we missed it! All since then has been “unreal”--”posthumous.” So just relax.
Writing by hand--”cursive”--a strange, deep, profound pleasure-becoming now an oddly lost art.
Why would the “end of the world” happen now? Are we really so very important?
Christmas suggestion for the person who has everything--stealth visit from arsonist.
Writers live so much in suspended time it’s something of a shock to realize that there is a present time.
Another Christmas suggestion for the person who has everything--a person who has nothing, & is very nice.
You can lose happiness through a hole in your pocket you never guessed was there.
Gave away everything on Giving Tuesday & now have nothing to give away next Tuesday. Feeling cheated.
Right: Untitled (detail) © Robert Gober courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery 144
The legendary danseur has been celebraTed aT every Turn of his illusTrious career. now, aT 78, he’s deTermined To leT neiTher age nor accolades slow him down Photography MichAEl AvEdon Words SARAh FonES
York, and hunkered down with Alexander, keeping watch while he grew gradually weaker. “I just got in bed with him and rubbed his back and he hugged me.” Alexander died four days later. The couple had been very close to d’Amboise, particularly his old roommate, O’Brien. “We never fucked,” d’Amboise says pointedly, a glimmer of mischief in his eyes. “I came back and I did a memorial thing, New York City Ballet did. He was the longest member of the company. He joined in ’49 and he danced into 1991 or something.” Outside, on an adjacent portico, d’Amboise has begun work on a memorial for the couple. A stone statue from their upstate home is its centerpiece. “When he bought this 40 years ago, I helped carry it to Saratoga,” d’Amboise says. Back inside, d’Amboise commences our tour of the National Dance Institute, the nonprofit he established in the 1970s. Photographs and art, culled from everyone from past students and a Russian fan whose name he does not know, to Julian Schnabel and Alex Katz, line the building’s walls. Downstairs, black-and-white photos taken by d’Amboise’s late wife, NYCB dancer Carolyn George, chronicle their trips to Siberia, Kathmandu, and Ethiopia. The couple’s dancer son, Christopher (named for Cris Alexander), is teaching a workshop for a new musical he’s directing in a nearby room. When he started NDI, d’Amboise was still almost a decade away from retirement, dancing and choreographing while encouraging children’s interest in performance. “I never paid for a dance class in my life— everything was gifted,” d’Amboise says. “I thought I would introduce boys to the arts using dance as a window. I went to four different schools and asked the principals, ‘Do they want free lessons?’” That they did. Today, NDI reaches thousands of New York City public school children every year through its weekly classes, public performances, and shortterm residencies. Later in the month d’Amboise will travel to Shanghai, where NDI has a contract to implement similar dance programs in the city’s schools. In his spare time, d’Amboise writes. He’s currently putting the finishing touches on a novel, an autobiography of sorts. “I spot it as a thriller— murder, sex. I started it in 1968, but I was so busy doing everything,” he says, trailing off. After some stops and starts, and the release of one film in particular, d’Amboise felt his writer’s fire reignited. “Then, with Black Swan the movie, I thought, Oh my God, my story is more interesting. And it was similar. Not the lesbian stuff, but the idea of it.” D’Amboise says the film and theater producer Scott Rudin (who also produced He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’) has expressed interest in publishing the work as an e-book. In December 2012, d’Amboise, along with the Rockettes and Michael Jackson, was named one of “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition. This comes as news to d’Amboise. “I didn’t know that!” he exclaims, both bemused and slightly miffed to be caught unawares. “Who are these people? This is so funny, I had no idea!” Perhaps d’Amboise isn’t ready to settle into the dusty role of “national treasure” just yet. “If I was doing a lecture I’d say, ‘I just found out I was named…’” He pauses to laugh, continuing, “‘which is why I got up this morning and dyed my hair white. So I’d look the part.’”
s the protégé and perennially indulged favorite of New York City Ballet’s George Balanchine, Jacques d’Amboise occupied an enviable perch at the company. During his 35-year tenure there, the late NYCB cofounder and Ballets Russes alum would choreograph more ballets for d’Amboise than for any other dancer. Not that d’Amboise felt a prisoner to the master’s largesse. “I just did what I wanted,” d’Amboise says matter-of-factly. “I’d been on a contract with New York City Ballet for a year and I’d say to Mr. Balanchine, ‘Oh, I’m gonna do a movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.’” Neither angry nor dismissive, Balanchine simply offered his mentee a savvy agent’s advice: “Well, you mustn’t sign a seven-year contract,” d’Amboise recalls him saying. “Very nice, but then they own you!” Casually clad in sneakers, jeans, and a cashmere roll-neck sweater, d’Amboise relates this story from his cozy, box-crowded Harlem office at the National Dance Institute on a January afternoon. An oversize desk calendar and sleek iMac, dutifully tap-tapped by d’Amboise’s assistant, take up much of his work space. Rows of DVDs—the 1984 Academy Award–winning documentary He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’ among them—sit to the left of his monitor. Emile Ardolino (“the one who went on to do Dirty Dancing,” d’Amboise notes approvingly) directed the film, which features a buoyant d’Amboise teaching New York City children to twirl, leap, and pirouette just like him. D’Amboise still has the deep brown eyes, high cheekbones, and elegant bearing that made him an easy Tinseltown prospect decades ago. (Besides Seven Brides, d’Amboise would also appear in The Best Things in Life Are Free and Carousel.) Born Joseph Jacques Ahearn in 1934, d’Amboise is American and not of noble lineage. In 1946, his mother, Georgette (née Georgiana), convinced his father to legally change each family member’s first and last name. “It’s aristocratic, it’s French, it has the ‘d’ apostrophe. It sounds better for the ballet, and it’s a better name,” d’Amboise mère is quoted in his 2011 memoir, I Was a Dancer. At the age of 7, d’Amboise began taking ballet classes alongside his 10-year-old sister in Washington Heights. Recognizing the siblings’ talent, their teacher, Madame Seda, directed them to the School of American Ballet, a feeder for the NYCB started by Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein. By 15, d’Amboise had joined the NYCB; two years later, he had dropped out of school to become a soloist. Over the course of four decades, d’Amboise would receive numerous honorary doctorates, a MacArthur fellowship, a Kennedy Center honor, and a National Medal of Arts. Trim, energetic, and chatty, d’Amboise begins our conversation with a non sequitur: the death last year of a friend, the actor and photographer Cris Alexander. Two weeks prior, Alexander’s husband, acclaimed NYCB dancer Shaun O’Brien, had also passed away. Alexander would ask d’Amboise to help him die. “So I have this doctor friend,” d’Amboise explains. “He said, legally, he can take a cocktail of stuff. The other way is, you just don’t eat or drink. That’s all.” D’Amboise traveled to the couple’s home in Saratoga Springs, New
Left: Jacques d’Amboise in New York, November 2012
Artwork KAren KilimniK
Veronika as the Gypsy Dancer at the Temple of Luxor Banquet
The prologue to a new ballet by Karen Kilimnik, set in the Temple of Dendur and the Mastaba Tomb of Perneb, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, starring principals Veronika Part and Hee Seo; soloists Misty Copeland and Sarah Lane; and corps de ballet Elina Miettinen of American Ballet Theatre 148
Hee as the Queen of the Nile
Misty and Elina in the Vision of the Zephyr of the East, Playing the Gypsy Beggar Princess and the Swan Princesses, in the Egyptian Tomb Palace
Elina as the Crystal Fairy Princess, the Mists of Time, in the Temple of Luxor and the Ancient Egyptian Deities
Sarah in the Russian Winter in Ancient Egypt as the Sleigh Stoat, the Temple of Luxor, or the Odalisque in the Snow
Veronika, Elina, and Sarah in the Zephyr of the East Appears to the Pharaohâ€™s Daughters, the Bluebird, and the Bluebird Fairy, at the Temple of Luxor Makeup STEVEN CANAVAN Hair KENSHiN ASANO for Bumble and bumble Prop master Dimitry Hertz Lighting technician Brent Lee Special thanks Kathryn Erdman; Lisa Spellman; Simon Greenberg; 303 Gallery, New York
The exquisiTe dancer, renowned beauTy, and lasT wife of GeorGe balanchine capTivaTed The dance world—unTil illness robbed her of her GifT. she remains a fascinaTinG fiGure shaded in liGhT and dark
Photography courtesy Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Words TONI BENTLEY
“I’m not a swan, I’m a crane,” protested Tanaquil Le Clercq when cast by George Balanchine in Swan Lake. She had a point. Jacques d’Amboise likened her to “an elegant praying mantis.” She was, in fact, so resistant to her role, one usually so coveted, that her boss had to stand in the wings and literally give her a push; a careful observer could see the jolt as she flew onstage. Le Clercq was the first American ballerina entirely trained from childhood by Balanchine. She presented not only the prototype of the sleek physique that would become world famous as a “Balanchine dancer” but in her elegance, sophistication, and spunky, speedy, tongue-in-cheek wit, she was the ballet world’s Barbara Stanwyck, a far cry from the prevailing 19th-century image of a neurasthenic sylph. She was “Balanchine at his clearest, fastest, most musical, and insouciant,” says writer John Gruen, who watched her dance in the 1950s. “There wasn’t a mawkish or self-conscious bone in her body, and the logic of her long legs could produce lightning states as well as cool lyricism. Was she Balanchine’s greatest ballerina? Most probably.” The splendor of Le Clercq’s face, body, and style can still be witnessed in grainy snippets on YouTube. In Afternoon of a Faun, she looks like a postmodern Garbo in tights, while in Western Symphony she prances like a young colt, jutting her saucy hips in a manner so innocent yet alluring as to conjoin the sacred and profane in a single vision. But, alas, these clips are all that is left, blurry hints of this dancer’s magic. And because her career was cut short so abruptly, they convey a particularly poignant beauty. But further elucidation is on hand in a moving new documentary titled Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun by Nancy Buirski that is set to air on American Masters (PBS). The film provides the most comprehensive view to date of Le Clercq’s life, including previously unseen images, interviews, and dancing footage. Le Clercq’s rise to universal acclaim was as smooth and unhampered as the line of her stiletto legs, those erotic exclamation pointes. She once commented to a friend that she had sometimes thought it had all been too easy: the scholarship at age 11, a leading role at age 17, principal dancer at age 19, and then, finally, marriage to her great love, George Balanchine—who was the great love of many—at age 23. But then, suddenly, as if Kafka had co-opted her fairy-tale script from Mother Goose, dues were collected—on October 29, 1956, a Monday—in a manner more vicious, more pointed, than to any other dancer in the annals of dancing. In a sign of respect for Le Clercq’s absolute detestation of sentimentality, those who write about the woman, known to intimates as “Tanny,” typically accentuate her dancing and beauty, quickly passing over the polio. But the attempt to render her disease a mere footnote to her illustrious career is impossible, and it sidesteps the essential story of Tanaquil Le Clercq, whose life as a ballerina is inevitably framed by her crippling, and whose legacy—and it is rare to have one at all in this most evanescent of arts—is seared into history as the most merciless dance that Terpsichore ever devised. At first, she had wanted to kill herself, but she didn’t, in large part due to Balanchine’s absolute devotion to her. He bathed her, dressed her, fed her, talked to her, amused her, played games with her, prayed for her.
She decided to live, though she said that until the end she still dreamed of herself “walking, never wheeling.” It must be remembered that this tragedy was visited not only upon the young ballerina but also upon Balanchine, tossing this man, who knew better than any before him how to move a woman into her beauty, into a place of unprecedented powerlessness. In a cruelly perverse pas de deux, he would gather Le Clercq up from the bed, and facing her outward, leaning her against his chest, he would partner her, placing her flopping feet atop his own and moving about their apartment, trying to incite in those famous limbs a flicker of muscle memory where so much had lived. Of course he failed. But the image elicits an almost unbearable tenderness. It is not by chance that the seminal Stravinsky ballet Agon—one of Balanchine’s most revered masterpieces, which he choreographed only one year later, contains a stark pas de deux in which the male dancer places, guides, and directs his partner’s legs and feet in every possible way—from the overtly erotic to the tortuous extreme. But here, on Olympus, unlike at home, the ballerina follows every suggestion with glory and ease. Le Clercq was born in Paris—as Diana Vreeland once asserted any girl with gumption would arrange for herself—on October 2, 1929. She was named by her French father, an intellectual, poet, and translator, after the first Etruscan Queen of Rome, Queen Tanaquil, a personage known for her powers of divination. Le Clercq’s mother was an American, a St. Louis debutante, who became a devoted stage mother to her only child, overseeing her every step and later chaperoning her dates with Balanchine. Le Clercq’s godfather was former French prime minister Georges Clemenceau and family friends included the likes of Edmund Wilson, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, and Frank O’Hara. When Le Clercq was three, her family moved to New York, and at age 11 the scrawny little girl was given one of the first of five scholarships offered by the School of American Ballet. She was on Balanchine’s radar from the start. “She looked like a real ballerina already,” he said later, “only very small, as if you were looking at her through the wrong end of the telescope.” The telescope quickly rotated, and, by age 17, she was featured in the premiere of The Four Temperaments for Ballet Society. Two years later, on October 11, 1948, at City Center, she danced the ecstatic second movement adagio of Bizet’s Symphony in C in the debut performance of the newly inaugurated New York City Ballet. A young Jerome Robbins was in the audience that night. “Tanny Le Clercq made me cry,” he said, “when she fell backward at the end and I thought, Oh boy! I want to work with that company!” He wrote to Balanchine, “I’d like to work with you and I’ll come as anything you need, anything you want.” Balanchine replied with typical brevity, “Come on,” and thus began Robbins’s historic involvement with Balanchine’s company, as well as his lifelong love affair—perhaps consummated, perhaps not—with Le Clercq. Though Robbins was 11 years older than Le Clercq (Balanchine was 25 years her senior), the two of them were like kids together, writing frequent letters to each other, riding the Cyclone at Coney Island, and identifying with the Peanuts comic strip: he was Charlie Brown, she was Lucy. They gossiped, teased, and laughed, and Robbins called her
Left: Tanaquil Le Clercq, circa 1951, in her La Valse costume by Barbara Karinska, who had won, in 1948, the first Oscar ever given for costume design for dressing Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc 155
would recover. He was, by all reports, the last—long after Le Clercq herself—to accept that she would never walk, much less dance, again. Le Clercq spent the following decades devising crossword puzzles (some published in The New York Times), teaching ballet classes at the Dance Theater of Harlem, occasionally going to the ballet, and writing two very original books. The Ballet Cook Book collected backstage portraits of dancers, many her close friends at NYCB, and their favorite recipes. Mourka: The Autobiography of a Cat is now a hard-to-find treasure. Published in 1964, it features enchanting photos of the Balanchines’ rescue kitty, Mourka, whom Balanchine had taught to dance. Le Clercq’s text is filled with charm and wry humor as she details Mourka’s rise to world renown from rather questionable beginnings. Mourka’s father (an intellectual in mortarboard) “founded Connecticat College,” but his wife, a floozy, “ran away with the gardener” the day after Mourka’s birth. The kitten is discovered to have a fantastic jump that distinguishes him “from every other cat in catdom.” He studies the “Petipaw method,” and finds fame on the cover of “Mewsweek” and “Mouse & Garden.” After a thwarted love affair with “a ravishing little thing,” Mourka agrees to become “the first astrocat” and commences serious “training” with “Mr. Balanchine.” Appearing on “Meet the Puss,” Mourka declares that he has “not one but nine lives to lose for my country.” After securing a “Cat Star” on his first voyage into outer space, he explains triumphantly, “I always knew I could do more for the nation through my elevation.” Mourka is a triumph indeed, one of humility and sweetness, for the ballerina in a wheelchair, who chose to write not her own biography but that of her beloved, high-flying feline. Le Clercq and Balanchine divorced in 1969 so that he could pursue, unsuccessfully, his new muse, Suzanne Farrell. At his funeral 14 years later, Le Clercq was beside his coffin, alongside his four other wives. Balanchine took care of Le Clercq to the end, dividing his estate among three women, with Le Clercq receiving the American royalties on almost 100 ballets. She died, age 71, on New Year’s Eve, 2000, on what would have been her 48th wedding anniversary. The first role Balanchine ever devised for the young Le Clercq was for a one-time-only charity luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria. She was 16 years old and still a student in the school. The event was a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, and Resurgence, set to Mozart’s soaring String Quintet No. 4 in G Minor, told the story of a young girl with her friends in their ballet class, dancing, rejoicing, practicing with their limber young bodies. A monstrous figure robed in black enters—the Threat of Polio—and touches the young girl. She falls, paralyzed. She is gathered up, placed in a wheelchair, and performs cheerless little arm movements from her chair. At the ballet’s climax, a flurry of silver coins showers down upon her. Healed, she rises from her wheelchair, dons her ballet slippers once again, and dances happily across the stage into her promising future. It was Balanchine’s 42nd birthday that day at the Waldorf, and he played the Threat of Polio himself for the performance. Years later, Balanchine, a mystical man, called this dance “an omen,” and felt that somehow he had brought Le Clercq’s illness upon her. “It was, alas, a balletic finale,” he said. “Nothing like that ending will happen in Tanny’s real life.” Omen, perhaps, but, alas, with its coda of rejuvenation, not prophecy. “What precocious sense of the transience of beauty and gaiety,” wrote critic Lillian Moore of Le Clercq in La Valse, “enabled her to dance this role with such infinite delicacy and penetration?” What “precocious sense” indeed, but that of fate? Le Clercq chose to never tell her story—she took it with her. And so now she perches, quietly, an inexorable beauty shrouded in mythic horror, a lone figure in pale black tulle, forever haunting the ghostly halls of dance history. Toni Bentley danced for 10 years with New York City Ballet and is the author of five books. A one-woman play adaptation of her book The Surrender: an Erotic Memoir premiered in Madrid in January 2013 in a production by the Spanish National Theater
Right: Le Clercq as the Girl in White in George Balanchine’s La Valse, circa 1951 Photography George Platt Lynes 156
Photography courtesy Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the estate of George Platt Lynes
“baby.” “I love you so for just that quality,” he wrote, “which really is very honest and always makes me blink at its directness and acuteness.” In 1953, Robbins choreographed one of his most lucid works on Le Clercq and Francisco Moncion. Afternoon of a Faun is a pas de deux that takes place in a studio. Both in practice clothes, the dancers connect, tenuously, through perfecting their mirrored images, but their love—if it is that—is severed when he kneels, leans in, and breaks the mirror’s distancing triangulation by kissing her cheek. Reality has entered the sacred studio, and with her hand held to her cheek, she rises and exits. He rolls over, stretching one last time before sleeping. Such was love for the tortured, bisexual Robbins. The previous year Le Clercq had married Balanchine. “I am in love with George,” she wrote to Robbins. “I suppose it’s a case of he got here first.” Much later Robbins said, “All the ballets I ever did for the company, it was always for Tanny.” When he died, in 1998, at the age of 79, only a single photograph was found in his bedroom, a snapshot of Le Clercq, in her wheelchair, smiling at the cameraman, probably her Charlie Brown. In 1951 Balanchine cast Le Clercq in his new ballet, La Valse, set to the evocative and ominous music of Ravel’s 1911 Valses Nobles et Sentimentales. Ravel imagined the setting as “an Imperial court, about 1855…dancing on the edge of a volcano.” Forty years later Balanchine devised a work that answered the composer’s vision, with Le Clercq as its doomed heroine, the Girl in White. Set in a dark, cavernous ballroom filled with billowing fabric hallways and clusters of black lights, Lincoln Kirstein, co-founder with Balanchine of New York City Ballet, described the work as “the neverending and always futile struggle between the actual and the ideal.” The climax of the ballet features a figure in black, Death, and his servant entering the ballroom. He offers the Girl in White a glittering black necklace, long black gloves, and a sheer black tulle cape. Mesmerized, Le Clercq dons Death’s accessories. She cannot resist, and what girl could: the costume, gloves, and jewelry were among the crowning triumphs in the long career of Barbara Karinska, the great Ukrainian costumer and one of Balanchine’s most trusted collaborators. Brimming with evocation, the costume’s lush layers eerily mimicked the gorgeous, sinister proceedings. “I remember Tanny’s marvelous gesture,” wrote poet Edwin Denby, “when she put her hand into the glove, she threw her head at the same time, so that it was a kind of immolation, you felt, like diving to destruction.” Her innocence now veiled in black, she waltzes with Death, faster and faster, swirling under his gaze, to her demise. As the curtain closes, Le Clercq’s body is held high and horizontal, spinning above a crowd of dancers running in a frenzied circle, the edge of a volcano crossed. On Christmas Day 1952, Balanchine asked Le Clercq to marry him, making her his fifth wife. She didn’t hesitate—“I was crazy about him”—and they married a week later, on New Year’s Eve. “If it lasts a year,” Le Clercq said to Kirstein at the reception, “it’ll be worth it.” Upon hearing of the nuptials, a fellow dancer said, “She married him for all of us.” “I hate shots!” declared Le Clercq as the company was lining up for polio vaccines before an 11-week European tour, in 1956. “They make me sick,” she said, stepping out of the queue. “I’ll get mine when I come back.” Balanchine didn’t get one either. After visiting Cologne, the company traveled to Copenhagen, where Le Clercq danced both the matinee and evening on Sunday, October 28, but complained of feeling achy. She woke up Monday morning, and “it just happened,” she said. “The legs went.” Within days she was diagnosed and ensconced in an iron lung. She was in the hospital in Denmark for over four months. Balanchine, leaving his company to finish the tour without him, got a cheap hotel room nearby and spent his days cooking at a friend’s apartment—he was a famously good cook—and bringing the food to Le Clercq at the hospital during visiting hours. At night he played solitaire in his hotel room. In March 1957, the family returned to New York and Balanchine took his wife to Warm Springs, Georgia, to the facility for rehabilitation founded by Roosevelt. All the while Balanchine hoped, believed, she
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Issue 2 Dance