Ballet Cross Collaborations

Heads up on three very original cross collaborations between dance and other art forms taking place across different parts of the globe this week:

1) Ballet & Graphic Design: Pointe Blank

A collection of original images inspired by the story of Coppélia. In a first-of-its-kind collaborative project for Birmingham Royal Ballet, 27 artists and designers have produced individual pieces of artwork based upon the tale of toymaker Doctor Coppélius, and his attempts to breathe life into his most prized creation.

The brief given to the contributors did not require them to present Coppélia as a ballet, only that ideally, they include some reference to Birmingham Royal Ballet. Production images were available, but not initially provided in an attempt to keep the brief as unprescriptive as possible. The designers had little or no previous connection with Birmingham Royal Ballet, and were approached by an independent curator, Claire Hartley.

When & Where: Online at Pointe Blank

More Information:

2) Ballet & Photography: La Sylphide Still Life

A unique collaborative project between photo artist Paul Wesolek, RDB’s Artist Director Nikolaj Hübbe and the Royal Danish Ballet looking at “what happens when the movement of ballet is challenged by the stillness of photography – when two fundamentally different art forms join forces on a common ground of aesthetics and visuality? What can we take from a process where a piece of romantic cultural heritage is reflected through modern art photography?”

Promo for La Sylphide - Still Life. RDB ©

When: until 19 June

Where: Lincoln Center, NY. For more information visit La Sylphide Still Life’s Official Site

3) Dance & Opera: Cocteau Voices

In this new double-bill, ROH Associate Artist Aletta Collins and director Tom Cairns present two contrasting dramatic pieces in two different artforms: one dance, one opera, as inspired by Jean Cocteau’s monologues. The synergy of music, voice and dance, fused with Cocteau’s themes of possession and abandonment were first explored by Collins and Cairns in their 2000 Channel4 dance film, The Human Voice, from which the twin creative strands of Cocteau Voices grew. New ideas, reinterpretations, eclectic influences – this programme unites music and dance with drama in a unique way.

Promo for Cocteau Voices. Photo: ROH2 ©

In the world premiere of Duet for One, Collins re-imagines Cocteau’s monologue Duet For One Voice for dancers, with an original score by composer Scott Walker. The cast features Conor Doyle, Daniel Hay Gordon, Omar Gordon, HyeKyoung Kim and Lorena Randi.

For the second part of the evening, Tom Cairns stages Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, which is based on Cocteau’s 1932 play and charts a woman’s desperate final agonising telephone conversation with her departed lover. Italian soprano Nuccia Focile plays the only role in this one-act opera which is sung in English, with conductor Garry Walker and the Southbank Sinfonia as the orchestra.

When: 17-25 June at 7.45pm

Where: Linbury Studio Theatre. For more information & to book tickets visit the ROH site.

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).


  • September 9, 2011

    Don Caron

    I saw a stunning and disturbing performance of the Poulenc (La Voix Humaine) in 2006 in the Theatre Royal, Nottingham and I won’t ever forget it. It’s a powerful and disturbing piece and I later discovered why. Every bit of it stemmed from the individual experiences of the lyricist and the composer. When an artistic work is so deeply cared for by the creators it can’t help but impact the viewer in a profound and permanent way. Anyone who has ever in their lives experienced the grand error of picking up the phone after a tough breakup will undoubtedly have an intensely uncomfortable flashback. Suffice it to say it delvers what we look for in art – intensely. If you haven’t seen it yet and you choose to, prepare to be altered.

  • Some very interesting ‘#Ballet Cross Collaborations’ (via @TheBalletBag)

  • :D Thank you! RT @theballetbag Heads up on 3 very cool cross collaborations between #ballet & other art forms –

  • June 17, 2011

    Balletco (@Balletco)

    Nice one! @theballetbag Piece on 3 cool cross collaborations between #ballet & other arts: Graphic Design/Photo/Opera: