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:
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! ;)
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
5 years ago