Choreographer Holly Blakey, composer Mica Levi and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood have teamed up to reimagine the wild west for Southbank Centre’s newly renovated Queen Elizabeth Hall’s first show, Cowpuncher. The cowboy-inspired dance performance, which premieres tonight (13 April), will transport its audience to a desolate, undetermined location and will shine a new light on the stereotypical masculine representations of cowboys in spaghetti westerns. The performers challenge and explore contemporary sexual politics through the dance, music and costumes.
Cowpuncher is the first opportunity that sees the three internationally celebrated figures working together; Dior and Gucci-collaborator Holly Blakey recently directed a music video for Moss Kena; Oscar-nominated Mica Levi, most famous for her work on Under The Skin, recently scored Marjorie Prime; Vivienne Westwood, the godmother of punk, is the subject of a newly released documentary. Cowpuncher’s costumes are from Andreas Kronthaler’s poetic SS18 collection for Vivienne Westwood and add a dynamic and modern energy to the performance. Toying with the structure, aesthetics and sounds of the Western movie genre, Cowpuncher promises to deliver a fresh take on a classic tale.
Holly Blakey tells iD’s arts and culture editor Matthew Whitehouse: “[I thought] Andreas’ collection would be completely perfect for this. It feels like [his collection is] reimagining everything that I want to reimagine in the work. It’s Western, it’s cowboy and there’s an element of the prairie to it. But [the collection is] reformed and reshaped into something more current. [Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler] felt like the perfect people to try and collaborate with.”