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Opening Ceremony Mixes Ballet With Politics

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Opening Ceremony Mixes Ballet With Politics

A timely performance about immigration in America, made in collaboration with the NYC brand

BY ASHLEY W. SIMPSON

NEWS  -  JANUARY 30

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Photo: Paul Kolnik

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On Saturday night at Lincoln Center, choreographer Justin Peck, Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, and Baltimore-based producer Dan Deacon came together to make a powerful statement. Just hours after chaos erupted at airports across the nation—as a result of Trump’s seven nation Muslim ban—Peck’s new ballet The Times Are Racing debuted to a crowd of young New Yorkers.

The ballet featured costumes from Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2017 collection, as well as OC's Action capsule collection (t-shirts reading “Fight,” “Defy,” “Resist,” and “Protest”), and new pieces designed with Leon and Peck specifically for the performance. Everything was a celebration of Lim and Leon’s journey, and their immigrant parents’ journeys to become Americans.  

The dancer costumes designed by Leon were inspired by photographs of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. Picture: denim workwear, overalls for men and women, and plenty of signature OC neon trenches and denim hot shorts. The illustrations of The Wizard of Oz collaborator W.W. Denslow also served as inspiration.

Dancers wore sneakers. The affair was casual, high energy, and inclusive. It was political. It was direct. After the curtain fell, the crowd (including Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Solange Knowles) went upstairs for free beer in plastic cups and a DJ set by Dan Deacon, whose 2012 album America served as the soundtrack for the ballet. It was an energizing night—and a highly relevant one at that. 

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