The International Ballet Sensation Shows Off Some Bold New Moves
Through the bustle of Manhattan’s busy streets, down a nondescript hallway and into American Ballet Theater’s bright NYC studios, one of the world’s preeminent male dancers, David Hallberg, invites us into his fervid world in this dynamic short by director Eric K. Yue. “It’s less about the dance or context of a story, but rather a state of mind,” says Yue of his glimpse into the dancer’s tender preparation. “David makes the most difficult and complex moves seem effortless and elegant.” Contemporary Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds’ track “Brim” taken from From Now I am Winter accompanies the progressive movement as Hallberg leaps through the space, twisting and contorting to original choreography created specifically for this film, by friend and fellow ABT dancer Marcelo Gomes. “There was no preconceived notion of how a role has been portrayed in the past, like Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty,” says Hallberg of performing for the short, which was produced by Forever Pictures. “It is really intimate because the camera is so close, whereas at the Met you have to project to an audience hundreds of feet away.” Principal dancer at New York’s American Ballet Theater, the Dakotan bridged the transatlantic gap in a historic milestone as the first American to join Moscow’s prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in 2011, now spanning the distance as leading man at both. The cultural polymath dominated the pages of April’s American Vogue, shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz in a dramatic editorial, and he also featured in the latest issue of CR Fashion Book, now seating him firmly in the eye-line of the fashion masses, and dance enthusiasts, alike.
David wears white shirt by SIKI IM, khaki pants and shoes by Marc Jacobs.
The Prima Ballerina Models the Fashion House’s Ethereal Collection
New York City Ballet principal Janie Taylor road tests Chloé’s dance-inspired spring/summer 2011 collection with choreographer and corps de ballet member Justin Peck in today’s short by director Bon Duke. Set to Philip Glass’s “String Quartet No. 3, 'Mishima': IV. 1962: Body Building," the impassioned routine was conceived by Peck in a bid to capture the multidimensional aspects of the performance on camera. “You always see ballet from the front,” he says. “Here was an opportunity to show it from the side, from the back, from every angle, and create a really unique viewing experience.” Staged at NYCB’s studio at Lincoln Center as part of a fashion shoot for Canada’s The Block Magazine, the film was styled by creative director James Worthington DeMolet, who was adamant about securing Taylor for the project. “I did some serious research because I wanted to work with one of the best dancers in America. I became obsessed with Janie,” he says. Taylor, now 30, has established herself as one of ballet's premier leading ladies in her 14 years with NYCB. Currently she is in rehearsals for the upcoming spring season, beginning in May, though she doesn’t yet know what parts she’ll be dancing. “They like to keep us on our toes,” she says.
A Fusion of Contemporary Art and Mountain Tradition Erupts in China’s Cultural Haven
Nestled alongside China’s Erhai Lake in the dramatic Cangshan mountains, the ancient Dali City is the subject of this dreamy short by filmmaker Eric K. Yue and writer Zachary Mexico. An arts enclave in the province of Yunnan, Dali’s mellow charm has long lured a vibrant community of artisans, poets and wayfarers, including artist H.N. Han, whose personal art museum houses works by Roy Lichtenstein, and coffee purveyor Gong Jiaju, who painstakingly seals his boxes of aromatic beans with hot ruby-colored wax. Dali is also a rare center of Bai culture, a Sino-Tibetan community famed for its artisanal expertise and elegant architecture featuring upturned gables. According to Mexico, author of 2009’s China Underground, the residents “are living for the sake of living”—something that captivated him when he first traveled to Dali 12 years ago. Finding the tranquil pace especially conducive to creative thought, he frequently visits from his home in New York for writing sabbaticals. New York-based director Yue, visiting the country for the first time, found experimental ways to break the ice with the local community. “I found I couldn’t interact with people, so I did magic tricks to get them to like me,” he explains. “It’s a purely visual language—there are no boundaries with magic.” Next up, Yue and Mexico will collaborate on a series of films about Chinese youth culture with Forever Pictures.