Sergei Polunin Trades Dancewear in for Leather Pants in New Fashion Campaign
Joining all of the fashion month festivities is Sergei Polunin—but you won't catch him walking down the runway. The dancer- turned-actor is dipping his toes into the modeling world as part of the campaign for Balmain's Fall/Winter 2018 collection in designs by Olivier Rousteing (known for his embellished creations favored by celebrities like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez).
Polunin moves with (surprising) ease in a pair of shiny leather pants in a video clip that was later combined with other shorts from the campaign. Also appearing in campaign stills, shot by An Le, Polunin keeps the shiny pants, but swaps the rest of his look for a more muted shirt and embellished jacket. And while the delightfully creepy campaign isn't like the dance-focused videos we're used to seeing Polunin pop up in, we're so excited to see another dancer starring in a major fashion campaign (remember Roberto Bolle's appearance in the Tod's Spring/Summer 2018 collection?).
Polunin's campaign with Balmain marks the second collaboration between the French fashion house and the ballet. Last summer, Rousteing generated buzz in the dance and fashion worlds when he designed the costumes for choreographer Sébastien Bertaud's piece for Paris Opéra Ballet, Renaissance. And we hope Polunin's new campaign means we can expect even more Balmain and ballet projects in the future.
Michele Byrd-McPhee's uncle was a DJ for the local black radio station in Philadelphia, where she was born. As a kid she was always dancing to the latest music, including a new form of powerful poetry laid over pulsing beats that was the beginning of what we now call hip hop.
Byrd-McPhee became enamored of the form and went on to a career as a hip-hop dancer and choreographer, eventually founding the Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival and directing the New York City chapter of Everybody Dance Now!. Over the decades, she has experienced hip hop's growth from its roots in the black community into a global phenomenon—a trajectory she views with both pride and caution.
On one hand, the popularity of hip hop has "made a global impact," says Byrd-McPhee. "It's provided a voice for so many people around the world." The downside is "it's used globally in ways that the people who made the culture don't benefit from it."
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Every dancer knows there's as much magic taking place backstage as there is in what the audience sees onstage. Behind the scenes, it takes a village, says American Ballet Theatre's wig and makeup supervisor, Rena Most. With wig and makeup preparations happening in a studio of their own as the dancers rehearse, Most and her team work to make sure not a single detail is lost.
Dance Magazine recently spoke to Most to find out what actually goes into the hair and makeup looks audiences see on the ABT stage.