MAKING A MOVE: Supple armor is how Alaïa describes the costumes its creative director Pieter Mulier created for “Pit,” a frenetic new ballet by choreographers Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber that premiered at the Paris Opera on Friday.
Titled “Pit,” the one-hour ballet is scheduled for nine performances at Palais Garnier through March 30.
Smith and Schraiber are perhaps best known for the 2020 film “Aviva,” in which they both starred and danced.
“Pit” features a “modern and figurative” stage design, while the music includes Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and an original composition by Celeste Oram, adding up to “a sensual, tribal and dramatic universe,” according to a description on the Paris Opera site. “A hot mess” is how a New York Times critic summed it up.
According to Alaïa, Mulier employed iconic materials used by the house and took inspiration from “the free movements of the dancers.” The clothes, all in black and white, were designed to match the bodies of the 12 male and 9 female dancers and highlight their movements.
It was the first time Mulier designed clothes for the stage, adapting existing designs.
Smith and Schraiber both trained at the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel, under Ohad Naharin.
Iowa-born Smith has created works for the Martha Graham Dance Company, the L.A. Dance Project and the Royal Danish Ballet, while Schraiber, an Israeli national, has directed, choreographed and acted in several short films.
It’s been a busy 2023 so far for Mulier, who in January unveiled Alaïa’s “summer-fall” collection at his sprawling rooftop apartment in Antwerp, Belgium.