Last month Kanye West made the headlines in entertainment news for featuring ballet in his new epic music video/short film Runaway. In interviews West cited his love of classical dance as main motivation, while MTV has also pointed out the links between the video’s bird-like girl and Swan Lake. In a new guest post for Dance Pulp we look at other recent successful collaborations between pop and ballet:
One of our favorite topics is ballet’s potential for crossover with other art forms. Just as with fashion and photography, ballet also naturally lends itself to collaborations with pop music as a means to captivate new, younger audiences and break with conventions. One of the most successful “indie rock ballets” of all time, Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma”, is so closely associated with its score that it has been nicknamed the “White Stripes ballet”.
While Chroma is to be staged for the first time at the National Ballet of Canada this November (followed by appearances at the San Francisco Ballet and at the Bolshoi in 2011), a whole new gamut of pop ballets have surfaced recently. An example is “Oh, Inverted World” a new work by Dance Pulp guest Trey McIntyre which premiered last month at Smuin Ballet: eight off-pointe sections match tracks by indie rockers The Shins (remember them from Natalie Portman’s iPod in Garden State?). Another is choreographer Justin Peck’s new piece, unveiled at NYCB’s Choreographic Institute 10th Anniversary, featuring music by perennially cool indie artist Sujfan Stevens.
Pop and ballet also collaborate in the other direction, with mainstream music artists using dance to emphasise the emotional punch of a song (best example: Gronemeyer’s famous collaboration with Polina Semionova) or just to add something extra; to set a particular mood to videoclips or album covers, like Rihanna walking en pointe in Umbrella (yes, a tad cliché) and the cover art for Kanye’s West recent single Runaway (slightly less so…).
Below we recap on our favorite collaborations between these two worlds (…)
Read the full post at Dance Pulp