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The Photo-Essay BALLET.BEYOND. Of Bruno Birmanis
From April 19 to May 28, 2013
The photo-essay BALLET.BEYOND. of Bruno Birmanis will take a place in art gallery Putti, in the Old Town, Mārstaļu iela 16, Riga.
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When watching a performance, the audience enjoys the flowing movements of the ballet dancers. But rarely are offered a peak behind the curtain, beyond the plot and dance steps, at the professional artists who work hard to display their natural tale to the public.
The aim of the exposition BALLET.BEYOND. is to show unseen part of the world of ballet – the backstage. The project documents the integral moments of performances and rehearsals when artists for a brief moment leave the stage behind. The process of taking photographs backstage during performances was difficult and time consuming, but thanks to the support of the Latvian National Opera the Bruno Birmanis has practically become honorary member of the ballet troupe. Backstage darkness, piles of props, busy stage hands and emotionally sensitive artists, overcome with the characters, were all things Bruno had to reckon with. He had to become invisible and develop great patience while waiting for the right split-second to capture the emotions and movements that would later give viewers a sense of backstage life, behind the curtain.
Extravagant fashion designer Bruno Birmanis is recognized internationally as an organizer of, Untamed Fashion assembly attended by Pako Rabane and Zandra Roudsa. Birmanis has participated in more than 30 shows in Rome, Venice, Paris and London and has worked as a producer and director of Moscow fashion week from 1995 to 1999. Bruno is also locally highly appreciated artist for his creative contribution to different projects in his home country Latvia.
Today Bruno has captured his creative ideas in photos that show the magical world of ballet behind the scenes.
Bruno Birmanis first creative schooling was as a metal designer. He extensively participated in exhibitions with jewelery, environmental pieces, graphics and small architectural forms. He used to do lecturing in the University of Latvia, the Latvian Art Academy and in the Riga Decorative Art College. He was a member of IAA in Latvia and Latvian artist association.
He started working in fashion in 80ies, when soon became famous in former Soviet Union and in Europe for his alternative and provocative collections, which he was demonstrating in fashion theater The Ball of Postbanalisme created with Ugis Rukitis. In 1988th Bruno was invited to represent avant-garde fashion of USSR in Venice and Rome. They were followed by shows in London, Paris, Prague, Moscow etc. His last collection until now was created in 2011 in conceptual fashion 13 Women who I haven’t married (yet).
A very significant time in BB as well as in Latvia’s fashion life was from the year 1990 to 2000, when Bruno created Untamed Fashion assembly, where he continued his work until the last year of the event. It has been the biggest and the most significant fashion event in Latvia, which stimulated the development of the fashion design, promoted recognition of Latvian artists in Eastern and Western Europe. It promoted Riga as an important spot of a creative fashion design.
Parallel to alternative fashion BB worked also in traditional, Prêt-à-Porter fashion area, he designed and created the representation costumes for Latvian Olympic teams in the Olympic Games in Albertville and Barcelona. He worked as a theater and film costume designer. In 1999 Birmanis founded the first little design clothing series in Latvia with a shop in the Old Town called BBStudio, as also in 2010 he made a fashion label BRUNI.
Likewise, BB worked in other design areas like environment, communication, graphic, metal etc. He produced and directed more than 1200 shows and performances, including ballet, in Latvia and abroad. He worked as an interior, fountain and exhibition’s stand designer. Bruno was a producer and director in Moscow fashion week from 1995-1999, a producer, stenograph and cover designer in Ieva Akuratere project Russkije, as well as director and stenograph in Samsung hockey league’s championship game.
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