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Tuesday, July 21

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Obituary for Zizi Jeanmaire by Roslyn Sulcas in The  New York Times.

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Ms. Jeanmaire established her presence as a cabaret artist at the Alhambra Theater in Paris in 1961. In the song “Mon Truc en Plumes,” (“My Thing in Feathers’), which would become her signature number, she emerged in a tight sequined top and sheer tights (designed by Yves Saint Laurent, a close friend), accompanied by a bevy of young men fanning her with huge pink feathers. Famous French singers and writers — Marcel Aymé, Guy Béart, Boris Vian, Barbara and Serge Gainsbourg — wrote songs for her (Gainsbourg wrote an entire revue for her, “Zizi, Je t’aime”), and she would make almost 30 albums over her career.

An appreciation from the fashion perspective by Laird Borrelli-Persson for Vogue.

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Petit and Jeanmaire brought heat and passion to the traditionally cool and formal ballet and then made a bridge between this high form of dance and its more popular expressions. As Vogue noted in 1949, Petit’s Carmen was “exciting even for those who know nothing about the ballet, since its close sister is the music hall.” Saint Laurent would similarly veer between the bougie and bohemian, couture and prêt-à-porter................. His 1960 show for the house included a mink-trim crocodile jacket dubbed Chicago that was a sort of elevated take on the black leather Perfecto. Despite its couturization, the jacket symbolized rebellion, youth, and artsy Left Bank beatniks. It ruffled the fashion establishment’s feathers and communicated that Saint Laurent was a designer with his own new-gen agenda. It’s no wonder that he was so in sync with Jeanmaire, the woman who could dance a fiery Carmen and, more icily, sing, “J’suis un’ croqueus’ de diamants” (“I am a diamond eater”) with a sparkle in her eye.

 

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A review of the English National Ballet School's Virtual Summer Performance by Jann Parry for DanceTabs.

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Their short videos were assembled by the choreographers, with the post-production expertise of the BalletBoyz, into three works that give the illusion of multi-cast ensembles. The first, Memorias del Dorado, by Lopez Ochoa, uses the youngest students in a dream-like piece set in a Japanese house. A young man (the students aren’t named) wearing traditional clothing, leafs through an illustrated book of Inca treasures. His memories, though, are of his fellow dancers, whose images appear on the walls and tatami mats on the floor, confined within a single dwelling.

 

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