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Performa 15 kicked-off last Sunday with a performance of Fortuna Desperata, by artist Francesco Vezzoli and acclaimed dancer David Hallberg. The event, which included dinner at the Four Seasons Restaurant, followed by a performance at St. Bart’s Church, celebrated 10 years since the biennial’s founding in 2005 and the beginning of three weeks of performances across New York City.
Fortuna Desperata opened with a dramatic illumination of the birth of ballet, exploring the form’s earliest incarnations in the royal courts of the Italian Renaissance. Guests entered the church’s nave to see a body painted Hallberg dancing solo, before taking a seat in a hexagonal formation for the rest of the performance to start. Costumes designed by Fabio Zambernardi of Prada and a set designed by Stefan Beckman brought the scene of an intimate Renaissance court to life.
Among the artists, dancers, philanthropists, celebrities, museum directors, curators, and luminaries from the art and fashion in attendance included, Hamish Bowles, Dree Hemingway, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Miuccia Prada, and Mario Testino. Hosted by Performa it was also supported by Gala Chairs: RoseLee Goldberg, Wendy Fisher, Toby Devan Lewis, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Carine Roitfeld, and Leslie Ziff.