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UNRAVELLING RAVEL: Riccardo Tisci’s first ballet costumes will hit the stage tonight at the Opéra Garnier in Paris, when Belgian choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet premiere their take on Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro.”
Artist Marina Abramovic, a great friend of Tisci’s, created the all-black scenography. It’s punctuated with a suspended mirror panel to duplicate the 11 dancers, all wearing the same Tisci creation.
The unisex outfit consists of a long black cape and flowing dress made of nude tulle. Underneath are skin-tone cat suits embroidered with white lace to mimic the human skeleton. The lace motif is echoed in swirling black motifs on the dancers faces.
“’Boléro’ is all about intensity. The music has such an intense feeling. I wanted the dancers to feel naked somehow,” said Tisci, noting that the costumes reflect his two sides: darkness and romanticism. “They shed several layers as they dance just like the life cycle of animals, or flowers losing their petals. They become these moving skeletons, strong and fragile at the same time.”
Tisci, the couturier at Givenchy, has designed stage costumes for pop stars including Madonna and Rihanna. “Boléro” is part of a mixed ballet program that runs through June 3.