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WALTZING MICHELLE: It’s been a year of creative collaborations for Paris-based Australian designer Michelle Jank. In April, a short film created by Australian brothers Jordan, Lorin and Daniel Askill provided the backdrop to Jank’s Australian Fashion Week comeback show. Jank then traveled to remote Australian Outback locations to style woollen yardage into ballgowns for Australian Wool Innovation’s relaunch campaign. And now, on Wednesday, comes the world premiere of the Sydney Dance Company’s latest production, “Sid’s Waltzing Masquerade,” a new work by New York-based Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton, with costumes by Jank. She’s the third high-profile fashion name to recently partner with the company, following collaborations with Imitation of Christ’s Tara Subkoff and Akira Isogawa. Jank’s first theatrical foray delivers more than 60 costumes — most showcased on the company’s female dancer. The outfits include sculpted Powernet bodysuits layered under bondagelike elastic harnesses and a finale of full-skirted silk georgette ballgowns in a sugared almond palette. “You can see the girls moving over the floor like a cloud,” noted Jank, who also incorporated some of her trademark Perspex jewelry, which sells through Colette and Dover Street Market.
Upon being commissioned by the Sydney Dance Company, five Australian fashion and costume designers were recommended to Barton — including Josh Goot — but the choreographer quickly settled on Jank. Barton, the artist-in-residence at New York’s Baryshnikov Arts Center, revealed that she and Jank hit it off so well, they are now cooking up future collaborations. Noted Barton: “We’d like to do something in North America — New York, possibly. We’re at the beginning stages of just planting a bunch of seeds.”