ONE MOMENT WITH MARY ELLEN BEAUDREAU AND JENNY LAI

May 09, 2013 11:45 AM

On May 8, RISD grad and designer Jenny Lai of "NOT" collaborated with dancer Mary Ellen Beaudreau for a performance at the South Oxford Space with The Alliance of Residences Theatres in Brooklyn.

The event was hosted by Movement Research, an organization that not only supplies the community with free art and dance classes but also promotes research and examination of dance culture.

Ms. Beaudreau created her own piece entitled “One Moment” for the performance.

"One Moment was inspired by recorded interviews that I conducted with former and current professional ballet dancers who revealed their perspective on the ballet world.

"I created a soundtrack from their voices incorporating excerpts of Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet. Beyond the music creation, I collaborated with Jenny Lai of NOT, to create a costume made from used Pointe shoes. The choreography is manifested from ballet vocabulary, the interviewees’ perspectives and the feeling of being trapped.”

Jenny also explained her creative process to TWELV: 

“I started out by analyzing each one of the hundreds of Pointe shoes I received by the dancer and documenting individual variations such as the type of hand-stitching, color of floss thread, elastic and ribbon, shellac or duct tape used to harden the insoles, etc...

"After understanding the "character" of the shoes, I experimented with all the ways it could be either built up as units or stripped down to raw material. The final pieces, which were developed in conjunction with the choreography of the piece, include a unitard covered with Pointe shoe "hides" that were individually dissected and hand sewn on, and three outer "harnesses", which are rows of Pointe shoes, that are secured to the body.” 

Jenny Lai got her start interning for Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam and the Boudicca studio in London. After years of watching other designers, she knew she wanted to be one herself. Once she was back in New York City, she started designing her own collection, named "NOT," for a woman who didn't want to just get dressed in the morning, but wanted to have an entirely different experience every time a new article is put on her body. Jenny described it as, "NOT is not about a name. It is about the woman who defines herself by being unlike the rest."

 Jenny is also part of an online community of self-proclaimed "black sheep" that allows designers to create their own online shops and gain exposure within the community and the digital world. "NOT JUST A LABEL" serves as an expansion platform that not only showcases and celebrates designers like Jenny, but supplies fans of unique designs a destination for fashion education. 

Jenny Lai's and Ms. Beaudreau's collaboration was a true success; the performance was breathtaking and brilliant. It is clear both women are ones to watch. 

 

To learn more about NOT, please visit her on facebook at: www.notaligne.com

If you are interested in seeing Jenny Lai's upcoming performance with the Aynsley Vandenbrouke's Movement Group at The Chocolate Factory on May 15-18, please visit:

http://www.chocolatefactorytheater.org/redesign/event/aynsley-vandenbroucke/

 

 

WRITTEN BY: SARAH GRANETZ

 

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