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​dries van noten creates beautiful costumes for japanese-inspired opera

The Belgian designer was inspired by traditional Japanese Noh theatre and kimonos for the Hagoromo opera costumes.

by Charlotte Gush
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04 November 2015, 3:11pm

Belgian designer Dries Van Noten has created a set of beautiful costumes for Hagoromo, a contemporary opera inspired by traditional Japanese Noh Theatre that opens in New York this week, directed by David Michalek. "I am very happy to collaborate with David on this second occasion, the first being our work together for my exhibition in Paris and Antwerp this year," Dries Van Noten says. "A designer's work must inevitably encompass the movement of a body in day to day life," he continues, explaining that, "collaborating with a choreographer greatly heightens this reality and pushes my understanding of a garment even further than I expect", before concluding, "This is a rare and treasured moment."

The opera is based on the ancient tale of Hagoromo, which "involves a desolate island and the fateful encounter between a poor fisherman and a fallen angel". The opera will be performed by former New York City Ballet principal dancers Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto. For Whelan, Van Noten created a feather-print costume inspired by the Hagoromo, a sacred cloth, and for Soto a fish-print costume; the other performers will wear plain costumes to meld with the raw, minimal set.

Hagoromo is Van Noten's second collaboration for a contemporary dance performance, having working on Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's Rain opera in 2001 in Brussels, which was later performed that the Opéra de Paris in 2011.