fashion correspondent Abi Buller writes: What happens when you merge the mediums of dance, fashion, and film, and put them together in a Sadler’s Wells production?
‘MOVEment’ is a dance, fashion and film hybrid performance project presented by AnOther Magazine and created in collaboration with Sadler’s Wells to display the unification of multiple creative forces. Featuring fashion designers Gareth Pugh, Prada, Calvin Klein, Iris Van Herpen, Hussein Chalayan, Alexander Mcqueen and Stephen Jones Millinery, in conjunction with respected dancers and directors.
Devised by Jefferson Hack, co-founder and editorial director of Dazed group, and featuring choreography by Wayne Mcgregor, the production was unlikely to disappoint. With each designer resulting in a unique artistic vision to represent their brand and chosen narrative, seven films were presented to eager audiences on 17th-18th April at Sadler’s Wells theatre. Through diverse and experimental collaboration, the film projects convey engagement with bodily motion, creating atmospheric and captivating sequences. Each asked to create bespoke costumes for specific to the project, the designer’s had to consider their choreographer and dancer collaborators to enhance their narrative vision.
‘’For the video age that we are in, I wanted to make a survey uniting the best of dance, fashion and film’’, says Jefferson. This vision clearly seems to have existed in parallel to Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells, who said of dance and fashion: ‘’While rooted in history, both art forms are equally at the forefront of what’s new and constantly moving forward’’. A particularly striking element of the productions, viewed alongside each other, was the diversity of art direction and choreography from the very minimal and traditional, to the extreme and avant-garde. These ideals were of course created in tandem with each of the designer’s aesthetics. Nevertheless, each of the final compositions were mesmerising and thought-provoking, offering insight into the possibility of creative collaboration, as well as the capabilities of film production.
Much like the narrative arc of a film or music video, each of the pieces ensured that all elements of the production, from sound and graphics to costume and acting were in some way representative of a certain point in the story. As both dance and fashion are mediums of storytelling, the result of this project was inevitably successful as the vocabulary shared between the two is a natural progression from what already exists on catwalks and within fashion promotion.
Following on from the presentation of each of the films, the evening ended with a live performance from Russell Maliphant seminal solo TWO, performed by Russell Maliphant Company Dancer, Carys Staton. It was this element of the event, if nothing else, which reiterated the power of live performance presentation. Whilst the accompanying music by Andy Cowton, and lighting by Michael Hulls, created an intense and dramatic atmosphere for the solo dancer, the performance was mesmerising and allowed for the emotion evoked in the films to really be brought to life.