Ballet Memphis to open 27th season with En Pointe/En Vogue

Ballet Memphis opens its 27th season with EN POINTE/EN VOGUE, a look at the evolution of ballet as an art form through the fashion of ballet costuming. Curated by Ballet Memphis dancer Kendall G. Britt Jr. and Ballet Memphis Wardrobe Manager/Costume Designer Bruce Bui, En Pointe/En Vogue looks at 27 ballets throughout history in a casual, runway format.  

En Pointe/En Vogue takes place on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at Ballet Memphis’ Studios, 7950 Trinity Road. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance; $40 at the door. Seating is general admission and limited. Ticket includes hors d’oeuvres and dessert buffet; cash bar.  

The show will look at fashion and ballet’s collaborations across three eras, according to Britt, starting with what many consider to be the oldest surviving ballet, August Bournonville’s La Sylphide (1836), and carrying through to Matthew Neenan’s Party of the Year, commissioned by Ballet Memphis in 2012.  

“We’re definitely taking a look outside of the Ballet Memphis repertoire,” said Britt. “Last season, we did a costume retrospective/fashion show that was more about the characters created by the costumes; this year, we’re looking at how costuming has evolved to reflect the world and the dancers onstage.”  

Dance, fashion and art have crossed over and worked together for decades. Pablo Picasso designed costumes and sets for Sergei Diaghiliev’s “Parade,” among others. George Balanchine worked with longtime collaborator Karinska as well as other designers and artists to create his iconic costumes. Most recently, Christian Lacroix has paired with Paris Opera Ballet to create costumes that align with haute couture.  

Most of the costumes are from Ballet Memphis’ archives and reflect many ballets in the company’s repertoire but it is not a showcase of Ballet Memphis’ “greatest hits,” according to Britt.  

About Ballet Memphis ( In its 27th season, Ballet Memphis serves as a creative resource to the nation through its innovative neoclassical and contemporary repertoire, as well as production and training of the highest caliber. Founded by Dorothy Gunther Pugh in 1986, Ballet Memphis employs 18 professional dancers with a $4.4 million operating budget and has performed around the world.  The combined programs of Ballet Memphis–dance company, ballet school, educational enrichment and Pilates Centre–serve more than 80,000 people each year.

Posted by Susan Moskop at 8:23 AM
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