Ballets Russes: Concealed Histories (2020)

Ballets Russes: Concealed Histories
Online and mail
29 May 2020 – 29 June 2020
View online exhibition

Ballets Russes: Concealed Histories offers a survey of the dance troupe’s textile pieces, showcasing myriad details that contributed to their recognition as one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th century. The exhibition examines how these costumes offer a historical and contemporary reconsideration of the ballet troupe in terms of its design, choreography and music. Displaying over 8 sets of costumes from varying productions, Ballets Russes: Concealed Histories chronicles the influence of Ballets Russes, showcasing traces left by a past performer to reflect on the surviving impact of the ballet troupe.

The exhibition is presented online alongside a mail version (limited to 100 copies) that will be mailed to participants. We believe that this gesture is pertinent and in line with our intentions of highlighting absence and presence in our showcase of the costumes’ intimate details (body marks, inscriptions, etc.), especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ballets Russes: Concealed Histories was initially intended to be held at the Triangle Space at Chelsea College of Arts which was quickly adapted to a research exhibition at the MA Curating and Collections Hub before finally iterated as a hybrid exhibition, displaying it online and mail.

Curated by MA Curating and Collections 19/20 (Chelsea College of Arts, UAL) and produced in collaboration with UAL’s Archive and Special Collections Centre. The exhibition stems from extensive research of an uncatalogued collection of Ballets Russes costumes and accessories. 

Curators: Bilal Akkouche, Sara-Ann Barber, Dana Chan, Jiaying Gao, Zehui Gao, Samuel Marshall, Jiashu Zou, Lei Gu, Ni Gu, Asya Gurevich, Yige Hu, Seowon Nam, Han Yan, Qinru Zhou, Qianjing Yuan, Shin-Hung Liu, Weirui Liu, Yannis Lo, Elisavet Logotheti, Reece Woodhams, Carolina Fontes, Celina Loh, Hao Long, Junyu Lu, Cara Salmon, Conor Smyth, Ruiying Wang, Ola Talib, Jiachuan Wang, Yi Wang, Pei-Yu Wu, Zhe Wu, Shu Zhang.