prada provides colorful costumes for a new performance piece

Francesco Vezzoli's recreation of a 15th Century Italian court dance opened the Performa festival in NYC yesterday.

by Stuart Brumfitt
02 November 2015, 5:09pm

New York performance biennial Performa opened yesterday with Francesco Vezzoli's recreation of a renaissance dance, and Prada created the costume for ballet dancer David Hallberg. The pair staged Fortuna Desperata, a 15th Century Italian court dance at St Bart's church on Park Avenue. 

Vezzoli praised Prada's work, saying, "The costume which Prada has made for David Hallberg is the perfect metaphor for his Fortuna Desperata performance. Its pseudo-renaissance style is philological, yet the materials are ultra-modernist. Like the dance steps that Hallberg will perform, his costume will seem like a futuristic version of a painting by Beato Angelico." The outfit was a mixture of classic fabrics such as black natté woollen fabric and pink duchesse, as well as contemporary fabrics such as ciré bonded with jersey and embroidery of stones, crystals and hand-folded fabrics.

Vezzoli described the performance as "challenging and exciting," saying that creating it was like being an "archaeologist of movement." Hallberg, principal dancer for the Bolshoi and American Ballet Theatre added, "My collaboration with Vezzoli has allowed me to immerse myself in a style of dancing I had previously not yet performed. Renaissance social dancing happened centuries before the formation of classical ballet. What fascinates me is how this movement evolved into the birth of classical ballet." This is a very academic study by two modern day artists, offering an intriguing balance between the two.



Rehearsals Ale Chad Watterson
Performance Getty Images

Francesco Vezzoli
fortuna desperata