Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dance and Fashion

There is something special, in a bittersweet way, about being the best or among the best at your dance school back home, and then moving to New York to make it and... not making it. The clip below used to be my main source of motivation and inspiration many, many years ago, as it was exactly the way I imagined New York: auditioning and rehearsing during the day, performing at night. Apples and cigarettes. Tons of wannabes, just like myself. Upon moving here, I realized there was much more to it: catty choreographers, even cattier fellow cast members, chronic injuries and understanding the true meaning of John Travolta's quote: "Rejection is becoming like a hobby to me.". It was inevitable that I would eventually drop out, and attempt to forget that I ever even tried.



These days, on the other hand, it's all about finding your old leotards at the back of your closet, sprinkled with little tiny holes from all these depressing audition number tags. Wondering what the h*** you did with your jazz sneakers. And all those white tights? And why you suddenly can't lift your leg to your nose anymore (this is clearly the part that bothers me the most). And how hilarious it is that some of the dancers at the school where I take class still dress exactly like they did in the Travolta movie from circa 1983 (?).

Yes, I'm back! Getting invited to audition for a principal dancer role in the next big ballet movie (hopefully it will turn out better than "Center Stage", another crappy film that no one except for dancers likes... which is totally understandable) made me take up dancing seriously again, and suddenly I see dance and dancers everywhere, especially in fashion magazines!

It always bothers me a little when models who do not know how to dance are booked for ballet-inspired editorials. Remember the Billy Elliott spread in Vogue last fall, starring Caroline Trentini? All I saw was sickled feet and parallel legs. Why not use a professional ballerina turned model, like Adina Fohlin, or at least models who are highly proficient in ballet, such as Karlie Kloss or Kira Dikhtyar (left: Karlie at the barre, executing a tendu à la seconde - I think this picture was in TeenVogue summer 2007?; right: Kira for Biba, April 2006)? Yes, I know the industry does not work like that. But still! And don't even get me started on actresses playing ballerinas... it is torture to be part of the corps de ballet in a film, and get asked to "sit down and stretch" throughout a scene, so as not to steal the spotlight from the principal, who clearly never danced in her life before taking on this role...

For this reason, I am always thrilled to see real, professional dancers starring in dance-inspired fashion editorials and print ads (not to mention commercials and films)! Below is the Swedish Royal Ballet in ELLE Sweden, August 2008:












ABT soloist Cory Stearns and principal Benjamin Millepied (also choreographer for "Black Swan") in Vogue, December 2009, and soloist Misty Copeland in W, November 2009:






















VogueGirl Korea spread, February 2006:








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The Brizo fall 2009 campaign:






















Other favorites include Vogue Italia, March 2008, and MariaCarla for Bazaar, February 2002 (I actually don't know if she has any training or not, but for this still she looks believable either way):
















Last but not least, some candid (sort of) images of fashion meeting ballet -- Karl Lagerfeld and Elena Glurdjidze of the English National Ballet at the Lemarié atelier; fitting of Lagerfeld's "Dying Swan" costume:
















What about you, dear readers? Any aspiring, failed or actually successful dancers around here? Or are you merely a fashionista, loving the current ballerina trend, coveting tutus and MqQueen Bedlington-esque platforms? Nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't wear them with legwarmers! ;)

xoxoxoxoxo

74 comments:

  1. Good luck on the audition... it's a big break for you. I really hope that you get the part.

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  2. haha,your comment made me laugh :)

    i wish i was gracefull enough o dance. the best i can manage is raging hippo haha

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  3. Praying for you to be a "real dancer" and not just a stretcher. So proud of you for trying out! :O)

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  4. Good luck on the audition.

    "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in
    my career. I've lost almost 300 games.
    26 times, I've been trusted to take the
    game winning shot and missed.
    I've failed over and over and over
    again in my life.
    And that is why I succeed." ~Michael Jordan

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  5. I really enjoyed this...it's always a pleasure to learn more about the lives of the writers behind the blog.

    I can definitely understand your frustration with non-dancers being portrayed as such in editorials. I felt the same when I practiced martial arts..."Of all the women who do this stuff, you had to find a model who can't even execute a proper stance? Jeez!"

    Have a Happy Holiday. :-)

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  6. Good luck on your audition! I will be crossing my fingers for you. :)
    I love this post. All these editorials are just stunning!!
    I took ballet, tap, and jazz classes from when I was 3 until I was 17. But my heart wasn't into it. My heart was into writing. ;) But I love attending ballets as much as I can. I have always enjoyed watching it more than doing it. Hehe.
    I think people who follow their heart and pursue their dreams are the smartest people of all. xoxo

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  7. Good luck my dear friend !
    http://mimietnini.canalblog.com/

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  8. Absolutely stunning post!
    How I wish I could dance!!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  9. Much much luck with audition. Moi - failed ballerina at age 13! Hyper-extensive arms and legs (elbows and knees) and tight hamstrings

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  10. This post is a great present!!!
    I am crazy about ballet and I am attending classes twice a week!
    I didn't know that great editorial from Korea! Wonderful!!

    Many kisses and Merry X-mas!

    Thanks so much for all!

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  11. Oh WOW ! I am soooo pleased that you are back in the game. I wish you the bestest of luck !

    I agree with you, I cannot stand to see dance related fashion without the dancers - they can make a dress look a million dollars !

    I have to say I loathed that lagerfeld tutu - that was one example of a fashion icon knowing absolutely zip about ballet and boy did it show. Bad idea from the start.

    I love to see fashionable dancers - and have tried to reflect that with collaborations on my blog - I hope to see it translated on stage and in magazines too.

    Happy Christmas !

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  12. Oh, good luck on the audition CC!! I imagine that you will truly steal the show - know that all of us are rooting for you!!

    I took ballet and tap as a child; unfortunately, once I moved to California from New Jersey I never continued - I wish I had. I have forever been obsessed with ballet ("Center Stage" is one of my favorite films); but it seems to late to take it up now. :/

    Loving the VogueGirl Korea spread - so stunning!! :)

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  13. good luck! while i was never a professional, i took lots of dance growing up - i remember pink ballet shoes, pink tights, black leotard, and pink leg warmers. character shoes, a little black wrap around floaty skirt....ah, and always needing to lose 5 more pounds...

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  14. How exciting! I hope you'll tell us all about the experience...and then we can see you on the big screen when you make it and the movie comes out. I loved "Staying Alive" when I was a kid. I know a lot of people think it was disappointing because it "wasn't as good" as Saturday Night Fever, but I liked it better, honestly. I love those "struggling to make it through rejection" stories -- which prepared me well for the life of an aspiring writer!

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  15. good luck my dear. don't stop trying! : )

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  16. Good luck with the audition! I really hope you make it: you really deserve it.

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  17. Well done for having the guts to put yourself out there and putting up with catty people for as long as you did

    If its still your dream, you should go for it and not give a crap what any one says and if not, then it wasnt meant to be and there are bigger and bteer things planned for you =]

    Thanks for your lovely comment - of course i'd love to exchange links - i'll add you to my blogroll straight after this comment

    If I don't speak to you before, have a wonderfully safe and chic Christmas my darling =]

    English Rose x

    http://iamanenglishrose.blogspot.com

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  18. what an amazing post! I loved reading it. fingers crossed- good luck, darling.
    happy Holidays, too.
    xoxo

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  19. Fashion is def. inspired heavily by dance, and has for years. It's so feminine (well ballet anyway),,, great post

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  20. Ooooh, this was the perfect ending to an insanely long day. (And the night is young.) I'm so glad you are back at it, that is excellent news.

    Everything you show is eye-candy to the nth degree, but the VogueGirl Korea spread is simply TDF. Completely and totally TDF. This comes from someone who danced for years and years, but really busted her chops figure skating, and ultimately the ballet became merely a supplement to the skating. If we had a decent class within 20 miles I would be there in a heartbeat. Sigh.

    I'm sending big good luck wishes and a hug to go with them, can't wait to hear how it went! This is one lush and lovely post Miss Cookie, a thousand thank you's!
    tp

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  21. Lovely post!....thanks for sharing the great fashion editorial!



    www.callmestylista.blogspot.com

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  22. Great post. I'm really into the ballerina look right now as well. However, my favorite thing about this post is YOUNG JOHN TRAVOLTA LOOKING SEXY. Seriously. If I had a time machine...

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  23. good luck with your audition! thats super cool. im thinking about taking ballet again because my grandma is hinting a hellalot that i should join, even though i have like a trillion girl cousins who are like around 5.

    http://blair-waldork.blogspot.com

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  24. Luck is not needed in this audition. You know you have the power to do this and you will do so with grace and ease. The role is YOURS. Now go and claim it. BRAVO!!!

    xoxoxox Mish

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  25. Great images and lovely post! Very true!!

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  26. I adore this post. I grew up dancing...my first shoes were ballet slippers basically...but then I grew boobs and hips and yeah....onto cheerleading and hip hop, but I miss ballet so much that it brings tears to my eyes. Chase your dreams girl!!

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  27. awesome!! GOOD LUCK!!!! let us know how it goes :)

    xo Niki

    http://ahautemess.blogspot.com

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  28. I wish I could dance! But I can't... so I satisfy myself with massive tutu skirts instead :)
    x Leia

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  29. I sooo get you, Couture Cookie! I hate anything that depicts dance but is not authentic dance. (Soooo many ballerina paintings out there with sicked feet and .... big bosoms!)

    Nina

    PS You were a dancer too! Where at? I danced for Billie Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt back when he was still based in Germany.

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  30. Great post with lovely pictures. My knowledge of dancing is very limited but I know the problem with yoga when you see models/actors pretending to do yoga and it's all really sloppy and wrong. Sabine x

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  31. I love this post! As always! Can't wait to hear how it goes...good luck...xo

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  32. i absolutely love those fashion editorials, the photos are stunning!

    would you like to trade blogroll links?
    http://audreyallure.blogspot.com
    <3

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  33. Break a leg at the audition, I did ballet when I was younger and I LOVE all these images you've collated. I really dont think there is anything more beautiful than a dancer x

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  34. NOSSA sempre tudo aqui é tão lindooooo
    ADOROOOO
    bjossss
    FELIZ NATAL
    :)

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  35. Good luck dear, I hope it will be ok! waiting for the good news!

    loves

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  36. Oh wow lady. That is AWESOME. This non-dancer is a full fledged Center Stage addict! And my love for tulle and tutus knows no bounds. : )

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  37. these are some fabulous photos. i'm a huge fan of dance. i love! I was wondering if maybe you would even care to exchange links? your blog is so cute and i would love for the visits to be a regular thing : )

    xx lue

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  38. I'm a performing arts teacher part time and play a few instruments including flute, so I love that top picture!
    I love dance inspired fashion, that VogueGirl Korea spread is amazingly lovely.

    Florrie x

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  39. P.S. Merry Christmas, darling M!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  40. i wish yoz Good luck on the audition. i love to dance and feel free.

    merry christmas to you, my dear

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  41. yea, i used to be a dancer and i guess that what makes me love all the dance-inspired editorials. And that is a good point about having dancer models do those editorials.

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  42. Good luck with everything...Happy Holidays!!!
    please check out my blogs :)
    http://dreamingchiffon.blogspot.com
    http://notthathaute.blogspot.com

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  43. GOod luck with your audition, stay positive and only see your own self as your competition ignore the others and you'll succeed. My mom remembers that at an early age i would always be on my tipy toes trying to dance. LOL. i never got around to trying ballet but i love to dance. It's never too late! Happy Holidays x)

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  44. good luck! i'm a dancer myself x

    Missy
    For all things fashion:
    http://thefashionfusion.blogspot.com

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  45. LOVE this post! i danced my whole life and have sadly had to leave it behind when I got to college. there are few better feelings than throwing on a pair of pointe shoes or watching a group dance to your choreographed pieces.

    good luck with the ballet movie!

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  46. How exciting to be auditioning! I danced when I was younger but have fallen out of it with the demands of work and life. It's great to hear you're back into dance and entering the nervewracking yet wonderful world of auditions. I still love revisiting dance memories, and making new ones, with the lovely ballerina inspired fashion :)

    Merry Christmas!
    -Tawney

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  47. cool post!
    some of the pics are really beautiful...

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  48. I love dance and fashion together I did a polyvore set about it a while back!
    Your super!
    The first pic is on my blog!
    check out my polyvore via my blog click on 'find me on polyvore'
    Thanx for the lovely comment!
    Tomorrow x
    www.inthebedroommirror.blogspot.com

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  49. awesome awesome post! good luck at your audition! i've always found ballerinas (and all dancers) inspiring. happy holidays!
    xx
    neutraltuesday.blogspot.com

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  50. WISH YOU GOOD LUCK!!!:D Stunning post!

    Make it work uh?!
    Take care
    Maria

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  51. HELLO, SORRY FOR THE LAST RESPONSE, I WAS TRAVELING!! I WISH YOU A GREAT CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    @ MAISONCHAPLIN.blogspot.com

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  52. OMG, CC! Yes, I know exactly what you mean! Cath and I hate, hate dance spreads with faux-dancers (sickle feet or unaligned hips are the worst!). Cath and I were both major bunheads for a long time, and certainly have boxes and boxes full of old pointe shoes, warm-ups, leotards and tights.
    The only problem I had with "Center Stage" is that I thought it totally mellowed out the cut-throatedness of the actual dance world. I don't know what I would have done without Cath by my side (luckily we were never competitive with each other).
    p.s. Hope you are having a wonderful, wonderful holiday! Let us know how the audition goes!

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  53. Oh, wow! So you a dancer! I love dancers. Hopefully you will have luck in that audition and can dance in the movie. Love that video. It is really inspiring and aspirational.


    xoxo
    B* a la Moda

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  54. Great post! That's awesome you dance my dear! I appreciate dance a lot.. I love it! Wish you all the best!!!
    xoxo

    Giovanna
    www.bohomarket.blogspot.com

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  55. i used to dance too, but i quit a few years ago. i always regret quitting and never staying with ballet...it's so beautiful! love the pics too

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  56. I used to be a ballet dancer.... as a child. I'm not sure that counts ;-) But it did bother me a lot, that after I stopped, I was no longer as flexible as I used to be. Gym classes in high school were suddenly much tougher than before. In any case, I agree with your sentiment about having real dancers in dance-inspired editorials. When we want to shoot a campaign at work, we tend to use the real deal, rather than a model (i.e. we used Olympic athletes for a sports shoot, because there's no way a model could pull it off).

    Good luck with the audition! Hope you get the part! And hope you had a lovely Christmas :)

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  57. sadly i am far from a graceful ballerina. i love that image of Kira- she sure can sretch!

    good uck for audiotion as well xo

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  58. what awful spelling that was. please forgive me.

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  59. Not a dancer, wish I was. I am to self-concious and akward :(
    XOXOX
    Libby
    http://fashionconfectionairy.weebly.com

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  60. ooh i love the rococo ballerina pictures! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  61. oi to passando pra desejar um FELIZ 2010!!!!
    MUITO AMOR...MUITA PAZ..MUITA LUZ!!!!
    felicidades sempre!!!!
    bjossss
    :)

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  62. I'm not a dancer but I LOVE Center Stage! Good Luck let us know how it goes! xo

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  63. My favorite dress evah was a thick, stretch cotton ballerina tank dress inspired by Azzedine Alaia's. In mustard(!) When I would walk down the street, people would always ask me where it was from. Sigh. . .

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  64. Hello M!

    I passed on The Haute Mess Award to you in my blog today. Please check it out?

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  65. Congratulations!! I have aspired to be a ballet dancer my entire childhood. Sadly I lacked coordination and perseverance. Still love the ballet though. It is a love affair I will continue till my last breath.
    I agree with you. Models auditioning for a dancing role should have the training for it.
    Happy 2010 to you!
    www.angiemuresan.com

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  66. Love the ballet spread...it's been a while since I have seen this.
    xo Happy Year..
    Reazlized I didn't have you link on my new blog list. I fixed that quick!
    ;)

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  67. Amazing photos...and I actually liked "Center Stage" and I'm not a dancer (although I secretly always wanted to be). :-)

    Keep @ it, ma'am...someone will see you for what you truly are - a marvelous talent.

    +8!3

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