On Monday night, Jeff Koons and Google unveiled their top-secret, purportedly game-changing collaboration: a $40 “live” phone case that performs excerpts from “Swan Lake.” The duo celebrated the device — which transmits a new “live” ballet background to Android phones each day — with an event at Spring Place that drew Amy Sedaris, Jeffrey Deitch, and Hari Nef.
It seemed odd for an art event to be staged just a day after both the Frieze and NADA art fairs had closed. But, for the project’s participating ballet dancers — husband-and-wife duo Troy Schumacher and Ashley Laracey — Monday was their only day off.
The two New York City Ballet dancers (Laracey is a soloist and Schumacher is a corps de ballet member and sometime-choreographer) were on hand for a live performance of Swan Lake: The Jeff Koons Edition. While the Tchaikovsky score and white feathered headpiece remained consistent with the original, Laracey was required to dance with a Koons gazing ball in-hand, forgoing any true avian mimicry as a result. She can be seen performing the same moves — devised by Schumacher — through the Koons phone case.
“I think this could have been one of the hardest things — [the ball] is precious and I didn’t want to drop it – your hand gets really sweaty holding onto the ball the whole time,” Laracey said of dancing with the objet.
Koons, who appears to have never seen sassy repertoires like “Don Quixote,” said that he chose “Swan Lake” for its “sensual and classic qualities.” Though in commissioning a choreographer as cool as Schumacher — who has previously linked with directional labels including Marques ‘Almeida and Thom Browne — the boundaries could have been limitless.