Chanel Teams Up With The Australian Ballet To Protect Its Remarkable History

The fashion house has long celebrated the arts
Photo courtesy of The Australian Ballet. Photography Jeff Busby.

In keeping with its long tradition of supporting the arts, Chanel has this week announced its partnership with The Australian Ballet, sponsoring the creation of a new digital management system for the renowned company’s archives.

The resident ballet company of the Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne, founded in 1962, is quickly approaching its 60th year and its long and remarkable history is set to be preserved and protected through its archival footage. 

The new system will become a primary and important research tool for The Australian Ballet’s artistic teams. It will house all past, current and future audio-visual history, including archiving of performances, dancers, costumes, sets and lighting design, and offer the most effective means of storage, proper cataloguing and retrieval of digitised assets.

gabrielle cooc chanel
Gabrielle Chanel on the shoulder of her friend, French ballet dancer Serge Lifar

Chanel’s longstanding connection with ballet was forged over a century ago by its founder Gabrielle Chanel. Fascinated by the innovative experiments of the Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Igor Stravinksy, Pablo Picasso and other leading creative forces of her time, the couturiere was a key patron of contemporary culture.

In 1913, the legendary designer revived The Rite of Spring at Ballets Russes’, the landmark ballet composed by Stravinsky and choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky—her first act of patronage towards the arts. 

Over the course of her career, Chanel also designed the costumes for several ballets, most notably Le Train Bleu, a lighthearted tribute to fashion created in 1924 by Bronislava Nijinska that featured utterly contemporary costumes that drew on sport and leisurewear.

Main Image: Photo courtesy of The Australian Ballet. Artists of The Australian Ballet in Stephen Baynes’ Swan Lake, 2012. Photography Jeff Busby.

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