English National Ballet Unveils New Rebrand and Collaboration with Vivienne Westwood
English National Ballet is pleased to reveal details of its new rebrand, which includes an exciting collaboration with designer Vivienne Westwood, in a creative brand campaign for 2013.
Confident, creative and contemporary, the new English National Ballet identity has been designed to reflect and support Artistic Director Tamara Rojo’s leadership and vision, of becoming the UK’s most creative and most loved ballet company. Working closely with Tamara, creative agency The Beautiful Meme created a logo (representing both speech marks and shoes en pointe) communicating a core truth that everyone in the Company, from young dancers to the outreach team, has something to say.
This season’s brand campaign with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and show imagery captures the creative collaborations English National Ballet is driving, with photographers, stylists and designers coming together to interpret themes of individual shows. Taking a cue from fashion, all the collaborators in creating this imagery are credited.
Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director, said that the collaboration was the first fulfilment of her stated ambition to forge great partnerships with people working in other art forms: “I am thrilled that Vivienne Westwood has agreed to let us use her clothes in our first campaign. It’s a dream come true to be able to collaborate with someone of such stature. Her designs capture the creativity and ambition of our dancers who, in turn, add drama and movement to the clothes.”
A spokesperson from Vivienne Westwood said: “We are delighted to be working with the English National Ballet as both brands have a history and synergy that work together – it’s a perfect collaboration of English tradition.”
Tom Sharp, Creative Director of TBM, explained the vision behind the campaign: “It is about taking dancers out of tutus and moving away from conventional backstage images to show the intensity and creativity of the dancers. The Company’s directive is to respect the tradition of ballet but build on it, and our copylines are designed to reflect but challenge a perceived view of the art form. Tamara Rojo inspires unusual collaborations so to create a campaign that combines choreography, amazing fashion and beautiful photography demonstrates her ethos in every single image.”
The Vivienne Westwood collections were chosen specifically to emphasise this non-conventional but classical image. The couture garments used within each image were specially selected from both Vivienne Westwood’s extensive archive and paired with pieces from the latest Spring -Summer 2013 collections – to continue this idea of mixing modernity with tradition. Both the clothes and the images created symbolise this feeling of British avant-garde and are seductive and elegant yet commanding. They reference historical dress and British culture, whilst most importantly celebrating the human form.
In Vivienne Westwood’s own words: “My clothes allow you to project your personality, and are theatrical in the sense that they are real clothes, well-designed, and they give you a chance to express yourself.”
English National Ballet with Vivienne Westwood – Behind The Scenes – Part 3. A teaser released before this announcement
The rebrand incorporates a new logo, a series of dramatic new production images, a palette of new colours and a brand new website to help make English National Ballet distinctive and recognisable to audiences both at home and around the world. The new website can be found at www.ballet.org.uk and provides full information on all aspects of the Company from production and performance details to information on classes and workshops, fundraising and sponsorship, staff and dancers and provides the perfect opportunity to have look at the Company’s new appearance.
Used throughout external marketing materials and across the interior of the Kensington studios, the logo introduces bold statements from the dancers, costumiers, designers and audiences. The statements mirror those the dancers make on stage through the ballets in seasons to come. The new wordmark features a customised cut of the ‘Aktiv’ typeface, which was developed in collaboration with world-renowned type foundry Dalton Maag. Collaborations such as these are at the heart of the Company’s vision to be the UK’s most creative ballet company.
As seen in Our Story* the new brand identity which accompanies Tamara Rojo’s leadership celebrates the traditions of the ballet art form, whilst making it clear that the Company are driven to explore new ways ballet can be fantastic, challenging and open to all. The new brand will underpin the Company’s strategy and artistic direction; to turn English National Ballet into England’s most creative and most loved ballet company, embracing and commissioning brave new works whilst keeping the classics relevant.
Notes to Editors
English National Ballet aspires to be the world’s leading touring classical ballet company, presenting the highest possible quality ballet to new and established audiences nationwide. The Company aims to develop the popular classical repertoire, including repertoire that is entirely individual to English National Ballet, and to present that repertoire to as wide and sustainable an audience as possible.
We danced before language and this is our promise. Through our art we will tell your story. We will dance the times you fell in love. We will dance your dreams and your fears. We will dance your death. Our suspended moments, grand glories, kaleidoscopic whirlings, rats, swans, firebirds, heroes, heroines and tracing of psyche are your mirror. We are not dolls. We are artists, young and hungry. At war with gravity to capture poetry from air. We do not exist to embalm traditions. We exist to cherish them and then create more. We leap and grasp for the new. We are for everyone. Watch ballet and you are not rich or poor. Cultured or barbarian. Brain or brawn. You are human. Full of lust and adventure. We are yours and we are you.
We are a bold company of ambitious dancers, choreographers, costumiers, musicians and designers. We perform ballet anywhere. Led by our artistic director, internationally renowned ballerina Tamara Rojo, we reach for innovative collaborations, creative excellence and bold ways of honouring, but adding to, traditional ballet. We dance to conjure wonderful, beautiful visions and because we have something to say.
Our vision is to be the UK’s most creative and most loved ballet company. Our partnerships with individuals, funders, brands and trusts and foundations are key to achieving this, whilst helping to enrich the UK’s cultural life. We stand for artistic excellence, bold creativity whilst honouring and building upon tradition. Our partners recognise this and benefit from association with one of the world’s finest ballet companies. If you or your company would like to discuss how you could enjoy a collaboration with us talk to the Development team on 020 7590 2950.
With a design record spanning over forty years, Vivienne Westwood, the designer and iconic British brand is recognized as one of the most influential fashion designers in the world today and is one of the last independent global fashion companies in the international fashion arena. At times thought provoking and always avant-garde, this brand is more than about producing clothes and accessories – its three dimensional culture also captures the imagination, raising awareness and generating positive action. In 2004, a major retrospective of the brand was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the largest exhibition of its kind for any living British designer. It subsequently toured the world for five years and was exhibited in over ten cities. Vivienne Westwood’s contribution to fashion was officially recognized when she was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Second in 2006. Vivienne Westwood produces 4 clothing labels, leather goods, jewellery as well as a range of other accessories, fragrances, furniture and home ware.