dries van noten has created japanese-inspired costumes for a new opera

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

by Charlotte Gush
04 November 2015, 3:55pm

Belgian designer Dries Van Noten has created a set of beautiful costumes for Hagoromo, a contemporary opera inspired by traditional Japanese Noh Theatre. The opera opens in New York this week and is 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," 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. 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.

Dries Van Noten