hussein chalayan designs a dance production for sadler’s wells
The avant garde fashion designer has created a dance piece inspired by identity and displacement.
He's famous for creating skirts that transform into coffee tables and for burying his graduate collection for weeks in his garden, but Hussein Chalayan is now branching out of fashion to create a contemporary dance production. In collaboration with choreographer Damien Jalet (creator of "medieval boyband" performance D'Avant), Chalayan has created Gravity Fatigue, a dance piece inspired by the themes of identity and displacement, which will premier at Sadler's Wellson 28 October.
"I feel very honored to be given this opportunity at Sadler's Wells, to be able to extend my interests and worldview into the realms of performance and dance," says Chalayan, explaining that, "Fashion for me is a very important part of culture, however, in many cases clothes can limit the expression of certain ideas. This production will allow me to showcase ideas which I have been collecting for many years and to build narratives around and with the body in a much broader context than ever seen before in my work."
It is not Chalayan's first foray into dance; he has previously designed costumes for Michael Clark's current/SEE, Sasha Waltz's Passion with Pascal Dusapin and for Faun by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, who choreographed "medieval boyband" D'Avant with Jalet.
"It is in Sadler's Wells' DNA to support ground-breaking collaborations between dance makers and artists from other fields, so I was very excited when Hussein Chalayan accepted my invitation to take the artistic lead on the choreographic process in his first dance production," says Sadler's Wells' Artistic Director Alistair Spalding. "Both dance and fashion deal with the moving body and one's sense of identity, and in Gravity Fatigue the two art forms don't just enhance each other, but are truly complementary in their delivery of the show's concepts and, ultimately, of Chalayan's distinctive aesthetic vision," he added.
Just as Chalayan is a master collaborator, having worked with Tilda Swinton, Nick Knight and Antony Hegarty amongst others, choreographer Jalet is a specialist in blending dance with other art forms. Jalet has previously worked with a number of high-profile artists, designers and musicians, including Riccardo Tisci, Bernhard Willhelm, Florence + the Machine and Antony Gormley. The pairing of these two serial collaborators promises to be an intriguing creative partnership.