Here's A Very Brief History Of Ballet, Told Through Incredible Costumes

Photo: Courtesy of NYCB.
If there's one thing you can do for yourself (or with someone else) that's not only pleasing to the eye, but good for the soul, it's treating yourself to a night at the ballet. Save for nights like prom, a wedding, or, say, the Met Gala, there's nothing quite like getting dressed up for a night of dance at NYC's Lincoln Center. As everyone taps their way into the David H. Koch theater, by way of patent leather oxford dress shoes and ornate heels, fashion plays an audible and visual part of the cinematic experience. And one of the best companies in the world, the New York City Ballet (NYCB), is gearing up for their Here/Now Festival, which will take fashion to the stage, too — a lot of it.
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In A Very Brief History of Ballet, a video that the NYCB shared exclusively with Refinery29, NYCB takes us through roughly 300 years of the sport: The short begins in Paris in 1661, where the world's first ballet school was installed in a room at the Louvre, to a studio in New York in 1951, all the way through today. Of course, who doesn't love a "history of" video — especially when it involves fashion? But the company's promo for the 2017 spring season combines two of our favorite topics, fashion and dance. Costumes featured in the video include a Gianni Versace number from 1992, a set of leotards by Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon (he costumed the company's latest showing, The Times Are Racing), a pair of tutu and pointe shoes by Iris Van Herpen that's made out of plastic scales, and normcore-style separates by Rosie Assoulin.
This isn't the first time fashion has played a prominent role on the Lincoln Center stage. In the past four years, designers like Dries van Noten, Olivier Theyskens, Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu, and Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen have all designed costumes for New York City Ballet. And for all you bunheads out there, the four-week Here/Now Festival packs just as comprehensive a choreography repertoire as its costume closet: The show will include two world premiere ballets by Alexei Ratmansky and Justin Peck, two of over 20 choreographers showcased in the festival, set to the music of over 40 different composers, including Sufjan Stevens, and its opening performances were choreographed by Ratmansky, Peck, and longtime NYCB collaborator Christopher Wheeldon.
Consider yourself lucky if you're able to make any of the performances (which run from April 25th through May 21st), but for now, New York City Ballet's preview video for their upcoming season is worth poring over if you can appreciate high fashion designs in motion.
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