Dutch National Ballet short film ‘Biomimicry’ – ballet x fashion

Dutch National Ballet and fashion designer Iris van Herpen debut a major collaboration with the short film entitled ‘Biomimicry,’ featuring ballerina JingJing Mao.

For the short film Biomimicry Iris van Herpen and Dutch National Ballet explore the symbiotic relationship between the metamorphic force in which fashion and dance interlace. The film sees the mesmeric dancer JingJing Mao undulating into liquescent shapes and transcending into graceful figures that reflect her myriad of movements.


You can also watch Biomimicry via Dutch National Ballet’s webpage.

Known for merging technology with delicate Haute Couture craftsmanship, the designer merges 3D work with pliseé-ed fabric in the creation of the short translucent and white organza dress. The technicolour and blue gown unfold voluminously into rich spheroid silhouettes that are influenced by three-dimensionally and the female body.

The concept of the creation stems from the notion of biomimicry — the design and production of materials and systems that are modelled on biological processes. In line with Iris van Herpen’s continuous pursuit to materialise the invisible forces that structure the world, the film focusses on the bond between humanity and nature while showcasing the intersection of both with infinite expansion and contraction.
Oscillating between blur and clarity, JingJing Mao amalgamates with the desert backdrop. The dancer — symbolising strength and determination — finds herself in a future in which mankind, science and nature are closely interwoven. This is also mirrored within the music, composed by Thijs de Vlieger and Lavinia Meijer. Deeply rooted in dichotomies, the music encompasses subjects such as machines and nature as well as soul and control, searching for unfamiliar synthesis in familiar organisms.
This synergic collaboration comes as a natural evolution of Iris van Herpen’s multidisciplinary approach to the art of fashion and matches seamlessly with Dutch National Ballet’s practice of co-creating with leading visual artists, photographers and designers. The brands pioneering vision of coalescing fashion and dance comes to life through JingJing Mao who is guided by Movement Director Juanjo Arqués, a gifted creative associate with Dutch National Ballet. Arqués made intuitive use of the surrounding eclectic elements to explore the direction Iris van Herpen’s designs take him. 

Featured image:

photography: Valentine Bouqet
dancer: JingJing Mao