Victor Glemaud designs costumes for ABT’s ‘La Follia Variations’ – WWD
Victor Glemaud is collaborating with the American Ballet Theater to design costumes for “La Follia Variations” by choreographer Lauren Lovette, which will debut on Friday.
The performance will be the first to be held at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California, since all live theaters closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be recorded and will appear on digital platforms.
It is the first time that Glemaud has created ballet costumes. “I’m nervous and very honored to do this,” said Glemaud, who was joined in Los Angeles, where he is staying and working on fittings with the dancers.
The overall program, titled “Uniting in Movement”, is made up of three works by contemporary choreographers, each with very personal and unique visions for the future of ballet: Lovette, Jessica Lang and Darrell Grand Moultrie. The program pays homage to ABT’s classical heritage with Grand Pas Classique, a virtuoso showcase of ballet technique.
Asked how he got involved with ABT, Glemaud explained that Hamish Bowles contacted him and put him in touch with ABT in January, and that Lovette had already worn his clothes. “The costumes were born from our conversations, and she wanted them to be classic, but modern. We were thinking of dancers today, without it being specific to the genre, even though they are tutus. They all have that one-shoulder silhouette, which I do a lot, and I put men and women in the same silhouette, ”Glemaud said.
There are eight costumes in total, all in jewel tones. The men are ruby and the women are in colors such as aquamarine, sapphire, turquoise and lapis. “Truly rich and bold colors. I wanted it to be new and exciting and really lush, ”he said. He noted that a lot of people will watch it on their phones and computers: “Even though it’s played live, it’s still going to be seen virtually. I really wanted it to be like you see it in person and see the prints in color. “
Discussing what he learned from the experience, Glemaud explained that working with a tutu was quite interesting. He went to the ABT warehouse, where he found the tutus to dye and reuse. He then made fittings on Zoom. “The clothing has to allow them to move, and they move differently from non-dancers. It was really different, and thinking about how you see a costume all around their body and not just in front and behind. And thinking of different sizes. How do you feel uniform? It was really the funniest part, ”he said. “These are contemporary versions of classical ballet costumes. It’s a bodysuit and it’s a tutu that we’ve updated in terms of color, fit, and silhouette.
Glemaud said the deadline was tight. “We started in January, and the original deadline was March and they moved it [to April], “he said. He worked with someone else at Paco Rabanne, which” made things a lot more reassuring, especially with a very difficult deadline. I think the costumes came out very well. The lighting played in the selection of colors for the costumes. It was a real learning process of how you stage and build the costumes for a show. “
Glemaud did a Zoom fitting with the dancers on Monday, and Wednesday was the first costume rehearsal. He plans to be in the audience Friday night.
A big fan of ballet, Glemaud said before COVID-19 he would try to go as much as he could. “When that happened, I was’ absolutely, without hesitation.
“I just wanted the costumes to really celebrate the art of ballet. There is a lot of traditional movement. It’s a really moving piece. There is no star in the room. I just wanted them all to feel equal, in terms of the costumes.
“La Follia Variations” is set to music of the same name by Francesco Geminiani. Lovette, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, originally created “La Follia Variations” for the ABT Studio Company and completed it on the day ABT studios closed in March 2020. It is now taking place on the main company for his creation .
When asked if there was a story in the 28-minute ballet, Glemaud replied, “It’s not ‘Swan Lake’. It’s more of a room.
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