HUSSEIN CHALAYAN

Gravity Fatigue

hussein-chalayan-gravity-fatigue

source:dezeencom
Fashion designer Hussein Chalayan has created elasticated costumes and sequinned garments for performers in his first self-directed dance production (+ slideshow).The production is split into 18 chapters that each explore themes of identity, displacement and invisibility – scenarios often examined by the designer in his collections.

Having attended almost every performance at Sadler’s Wells, Chalayan was approached two years ago by the theatre’s creative director Alistair Spalding, who proposed that he directed his own production.”Hussein and I got to know each other over a number of years, he’s always here, almost every performance,” said Spalding during a talk before last night’s performance. “He’s worked on a couple of small things with us, but then I decided in the end that I would ask him to lead and direct a project.”

“I had been collecting ideas for many years, so the minute that you asked me already a lot of ideas were there for me,” responded Chalayan. “Because I’ve directed films before and I’ve made exhibitions and installations for me it felt very natural to be working within these realms.”The designer presented Spalding with a number of images that represented different key themes. The pair then worked together to edit these down to a set of 18, which ultimately formed the structure of the production.

Chalayan then enlisted the help of Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet – who has previously collaborated with Givenchy creative director Ricardo Tisci and artist Marina Abramovic – to execute his ideas through movement.”It was definitely a challenge to suddenly reverse and say okay I’m going to do the opposite of what I usually do,” said Jalet. “I’ve already worked with designers before as I love to create a dialogue with costume as it changes the body and the perception of it.”

For many of the sections, steps and movements were formed after Chalayan had presented Jalet with a garment representing the notion he wanted to convey.One section of the production titled Elastic Bodies involves pairs of dancers moving within an elasticated garment – with one appearing to have control over the other.

“Because of my experience of working all these years with clothes, I know the range of movements that they can make,” said Chalayan. “When I brought them over, I had of how they can be played with, and how they can be stretched out and the can be utilised in a certain way.”

“With elastic bodies, I knew from the loop of the dress that it you would need two people to stretch it out,” he continued. “We spoke to the cast and said this is the idea and they started to play around. There was a lot of trial and error, but we would catch moments and start to develop them.”

Chalayan’s childhood experience of living between Cyprus and the UK is a recurring theme throughout Gravity Fatigue, and is particularly prominent in a section titled Arrival of Departure.”Arrival of Departure stems from an ongoing interest of mine of displacement because I was always between Cyprus and London growing up,” Chalayan said. “The theme is about that gap between arriving and departing, and not knowing whether you arrive to a place or depart from a place.”

The set design for this section revolves around a section of an aeroplane. Dancers appear on the stage wearing plain-coloured coats, before unbuttoning them to reveal completely sequinned garments.”Hussein came with this very specific design of a reversible jacket,” said Jalet. “We started to experiment with it until we found this centrifugal movement where the clothes were pulling the dancer and there became this kind of momentum. It felt like suddenly the dancers were being carried by the coat.”If you look at it carefully all the coats have all the accessories in built,” said Chalayan. “The idea was that you are not departing from your possessions, therefore you aren’t leaving.”
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source:supervizuelnacom
Brzi niz plesnih slika angažovanih telom i bestelesnošću, migracijom i raseljavanjem, uz laganu satiru na modu i umetnost: u pitanju je Gravity Fatigue, jedinstvena plesna predstava Huseina Šalajana (Hussein Chalayan), koja je u potpunosti koncipirana oko (ne)nosivih odevnih predmeta.

Naslov predstave proizilazi iz dizajnerove mantre – mislim na gravitaciju kao na valutu za percepciju stvarnosti. Šta to uopste znači? Postoji li razmenska vrednost gravitacije? Može li neko (čak i najbolji plesači) ikada sagledati stvarnost bez učešća gravitacije?

Nije toliko komplikovano. Neminovnost gravitacije je samo jedan od motiva koje Šalajan istražuje u svojoj dugogodišnjoj karijeri. Druga interesovanja – kao što je koncept bestelesnosti u raznim kulturama, posledice migracija, izolacija, polnost, vera, jezik, digitalni mediji, tehnologija i značenje jastva – su koncepti i teme kojima se stalno vraća i koji su kroz Gravity Fatigue pretvoreni u pokret.

Osamnaest plesnih scena, brzih kao modne mini-kolekcije, smenjuju se tokom 75 minuta uz pratnju preglasne ‘zvučne ilustracije’ MODE-F, sound dizajnera koji aranžiraju zvuk na modnim revijama. Sekvence je osmislio i režirao Šalajan, ali ideje su u koreografiju pretočili igrači i belgijski koreograf Damijen Žale (Damien Jalet), inače poznat po saradnji sa Marinom Abramović i Rikardom Tiskijem, kreativnim direktorom modne kuće Gucci. Predstava je naivna ako se gleda isključivo kao avangardni plesni komad, ali je interesantna kao dizajnersko-modni eksperiment fokusiran na telo i pokret.

Dete kiparskih Turaka koji su sedamdesetih emigrirali iz Nikozije, Husein Šalajan je oduvek posedovao praktično interesovanje za kompaktnu odeću koja se može lako poneti u slučaju potrebe, kao i u simboličko značenje investirano u odevne predmete. Moda kao koncept u koji dizajner pohranjuje izvesna ograničenja i mogućnosti formira jezgro svih njegovih prethodnih kolekcija (posebno napr. Aftervords iz 2000-e, ili diplomski rad Burka, 1996) tako da je logično što im se vraća i u ovim plesnim sekvencama.

U sekvenci Millionaire Dance plesačice obučene u nikab (muslimanski ženski veo koji obavija celo telo) se nesputano praćakaju u bazenu punom gumenih loptica; Body Split posmatra tela podeljena na dva dela: dok donji deo tela slobodno i lepršavo igra, torzo je ograničen prslukom za spasavanje koji ga istovremeno i čuva i parališe. Gravitacija kao tok, kao mogućnost fizičke razmene, napetosti i uzročno-posledičnih efekata, testira se tokom čitave predstave: tkanina koja okružuje tela plesača postaje trambulina, praćka, katapult. Površine koje obično percipiramo kao čvrste (kao što je pod scene ili površina stola) se otkrivaju kao elastične. Elastic Bodies senzualno opisuje odnose dva tela kroz rastezljivu uzajamnost i međuzavisnost njihovog kretanja, dok Omnipresence napušta i odevno i fizičko prisustvo uopšte: izvođači se skidaju goli i tekstiraju međusobno na sceni.