Just for Fun: TDE Asks StylePointe's Emerging Designers and Choreographers
About Playing with Fashion and Dance at Dixon Place
During New York Fashion Week 2015, producer Sangeeta Yesley will unite the dance stage with the catwalk in StylePointe, a platform for emerging fashion designers to showcase their work in collaboration with choreographers. Six fashion collections created by designers of diverse backgrounds were paired with three choreographers, who will create dance vignettes to showcase each collect of stylish garment.
Carmen Anderson, Elena Rudenko, Aly Reinert, and The 8th Continent /Suzuki
JKing Dance Company, Benjamin Briones Ballet and ELSCO Dance
Where: Dixon Place Theater, 161A Chrystie Street (btwn Delancey and Rivington), New York, NY
When: Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30pm. Cocktail Hour begins at 6:15pm
Cost: VIP Assigned Seating - Advance/At door: $45/50 (30 seats only)
General Riser Seating - Advance/At door: $35/40
Mezzanine Seating - Advance/At door: $20/25
THE DANCE ENTHUSIAST ASKS SANGEETA YESLEY, PRODUCER OF STYLEPOINTE; FASHION DESIGNER ALY REINERT; CHOREOGRAPHER BENJAMIN BRIONES; AND URSULA VERDUZCO, DANCER WITH BENJAMIN BRIONES BALLET.
Sammi Lim for The Dance Enthusiast: Hey, Sangeeta! How did you come up with the idea to produce StylePointe in conjunction with New York Fashion Week?
Sangeeta Yesley, Producer of StylePointe: I had fun participating in a fashion show in India in my early days. It was quite a unique event that was sponsored by a big clothing manufacturer. As a dancer and a model I learned to cat walk on the runway as I performed with fellow dancers. I've always wanted to re-create something similar to that performance in India. It’s hard to believe that it is almost a reality!
TDE: Tell me about NYC10 Dance Initiative, I understand that you founded it in 2012 and produced the initiative for 3 years.
SY: NYC10 was my first production in NYC. The reason I did it, was to give dance companies a platform to perform for a significant audience without having the pressure of selling the tickets to pay for the theater. During my time as a dancer, I loved choreographing, but it was financially draining as you very well know. I had to do my own promotions, sell tickets and pay the theater if the ticket sales weren’t enough to cover the cost. Together NYC10 and Dixon Place took care of that aspect. Dixon Place had the same vision, wanting to help new performers find their audience. StylePointe is similar in spirit.
TDE: What determined the pairing of a particular fashion collection with a particular dance company? Was it a random selection, did the designers and choreographers have a say in the matter, or was this ‘curation’ left completely in your hands?
SY: StylePointe’s participating dance companies were also NYC10 participants, so I became familiar with their work and style. Once the collections were chosen, it was apparent to me who would be best suited to work with which designer. Each designer has an inspiration, a story behind their collection and the choreographers are given the open choice to work with that story and connect on a deeper level.
The Dancers Meet and Greet With Their Designers in Preparation for StylePointe
TDE: Aly, How does it feel seeing your designs on the stage, as part of a dance composition?
Fashion designer Aly Reinert: As a dancer as well as a designer, my love of movement has always influenced the way I think about clothing and how it interacts with the body. It is exciting to bring two of my biggest passions together for one showcase! The artistry of the movement will enhance the clothing and the clothing will enhance the way the dancers perform as well.
TDE: Any observations about working with dancers as opposed to models?
AR: I wouldn’t say that working with and fitting the dancers has been much different from models. They share a unique similarity in that they both have to be aware of way they move, and the way the clothing looks while they are moving. I would say that models have to think more about showcasing the clothing, and dancers more about showcasing the way their bodies are moving, but these two areas of focus are definitely important for both groups.
TDE: Benjamin, as a dance maker, do you consider costuming essential?
Benjamin Briones, Founder of Benjamin Briones Ballet: Costuming is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!
TDE: Do you have a favorite dance costume... you can choose any time period in dance history?
BB: The iconic tube dress in Lamentations created in 1930 by Martha Graham.
TDE: Have you ever experienced a wardrobe malfunction?
Ursula Verduzco, dancer with Benjamin Briones Ballet: Yes! Fashion goofs do happen. I have had a few in my career. One that specifically comes to mind occured when I danced in the New York City Opera production of Cendrillon. We wore a quite complicated costume as we were insects with big beautiful wings and antennas, AND we had to dance in pointe shoes on a raked stage (rake,refers to the slope upward of the stage...the performers further away from the audience are higher; the performers closer to the audience are lower. For a performer balance is completely different on a flat surface than on raked surface, making it more difficult to turn and jump.) Ouch...complicated and scary. The other dancers and I fought to look fearless even though we kept hitting each other with our ultra long insect wings.
TDE: Would you wear a dance outfit offstage? Is so, during what event?
UV: It depends on the outfit. The ones we have the pleasure of wearing this season at StylePointe are just beautiful and I cannot wait to wear them on stage, and yes, why not even off stage? What designer Suzuki has created with color and construction is so elegant, I would want wear it to a formal event.
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