The silvered bodies slid like liquid mercury across the backdrop, while beside the photograph of dancers in movement, swirls of diamonds appeared in dynamically designed jewellery.
Could ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov really be in a pas de deux with Italian jeweller Damiani?
Dancing Away, the photographic works by the Latvian-born dancer, created an energetic face-off to examples of the 18 Diamonds International Awards Damiani has garnered over the years.
“It’s our birthday — and who better to partner with than a great dancer who is also a great photographer,” said vice president Silvia Damiani at a night of celebration in London last month.
She was referring to her family company, which was celebrating 90 years since its foundation in 1924.
Baryshnikov’s works of art — a joyous collection of bodies from Brazilian dancers to modern ballet figures from Merce Cunningham’s studio — are on display at the Contini Art UK gallery on London’s Bond Street (until January 31, 2015).
The Damiani jewels were there for one night only, but a shop full of their streamlined designs can be found in London at 11 Old Bond Street, as well as in stores from Milan, Rome and Venice, Paris and Moscow to the Far East – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Osaka.
The Italian jewellers were modernists from the outset. A dedication to sculpted work with the dynamism of that era of “streamlining” is seen in many Damiani pieces. The energy is expressed in movement, while silver, white gold and diamonds add to the feeling of vibrant, contemporary modernism.
Like the energetic photographic images, the jewellery seems to be frozen in motion.
Baryshnikov ‘s photography is not his only current passion — he is still faithful to his balletic past.
A decade ago, the dancer and ballet director opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), in New York, his current home. He offers studio space to young ballerinas and shows contemporary, innovative work across the world.