Text by Hans Christian Andersen. Interview with Marcel Dzama and Justin Peck by Lucas Zwirner
Marcel Dzama’s prolific output as a draftsman has, in recent years, expanded to include works in many different media—film, sculpture, dance, collage, and even a recent collaboration with artist Raymond Pettibon are all part of his current practice. His at times surreal, often frightening vision, translates beautifully to film and dance, where actors in complex costumes bring to life the worlds Dzama draws on paper.
Published on the occasion of his collaborative ballet with choreographer Justin Peck and musician Bryce Dessner at the New York City Ballet, The Book of Ballet documents the genesis of all aspects of the project. The gem-like booklet begins with “The Most Incredible Thing,” the Hans Christian Andersen story on which the ballet is based, and continues to present Dzama’s costume designs. The images not only show final design decisions, but also chart the changes in costumes as the project unfolded, and the ways in which Dzama’s conception of the characters in the ballet shifted over time. The book closes with a conversation between Dzama and Peck in which choreographer and artist discuss the nuances of their collaborative process, and the important role of renowned composer Dessner in bringing the project to life. Also included is a poster made specifically for this book by the artist.