Marcel Dzama: The Book of Ballet (La chose la plus incroyable dans le monde)
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.
Publisher: David Zwirner Books / New York City Ballet
Artists: Marcel Dzama
Contributors: Marcel Dzama, Justin Peck, Lucas Zwirner
Designer: Marcel Dzama, Matthew Polhamus
Printer: VeronaLibri, Verona, Italy
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 9 x 6 in (22.9 x 15.2 cm)
Reproductions: 37 color
Special Features: Includes poster
Retail: $20 | £13 | €18
The work of Marcel Dzama (b. 1974, Winnipeg) is characterized by an immediately recognizable visual language that draws from a diverse range of references and artistic influences, including Dada and Marcel Duchamp. While he has become known for his prolific drawings with their distinctive palette of muted colors, in recent years, the artist has expanded his practice to encompass sculpture, painting, film, and dioramas.
All Marcel Dzama books
Justin Peck is a Soloist and the Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet. Peck grew up in San Diego, California, where he studied at California Ballet for two years. In 2003, he began training at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. He was named an apprentice in 2006, joined the NYCB corps de ballet in spring 2007, and was promoted to Soloist in February 2013. Peck choreographed six works for New York City Ballet in two years—In Creases (2012), Year of the Rabbit (2012), Paz de la Jolla (2013), Take-Offs and Landings (NYCB MOVES, 2013), Capricious Maneuvers (2013), and Everywhere We Go (2014)—and was named Resident Choreographer, the second in the Company’s history, in July 2014. During the 2014-2015 season, he has createdBelles-Lettres, which premiered at the 2014 Fall Gala, and ‘Rode,o: Four Dance Episodes, which premiered during the winter season.
Lucas Zwirner is Editor of David Zwirner Books. He graduated from Yale University, where he received a BA in Philosophy and Comparative Literature, in 2013. He has contributed to numerous art publications, including Raymond Pettibon: To Wit (2014), On Kawara: Date Painting(s) in New York and 136 Other Cities (2012), and recently translated Michael Ende’s Momo into English, which was illustrated by Marcel Dzama and published by McSweeney’s McMullens in 2013.