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Ballet and Fashion: Ballet Zaida Meets Free People

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2014-05-15-FreePeopleBalletZaida1.jpg

Photo credit: Oliver Endahl, Ballet Zaida in collaboration with Free People

A body, soaked in sweat, in exhilaration, in the thrill of it. A body, muscles flexing, shifting, bending, pushing through barriers, launching forward into a realm of possibility, a new dimension of being. A mind, feeling the pace of motion, the explosion of health, experiencing the capacity to feel and shift and move whatever way the world rocks. A person, with bright eyes and a brighter soul, moving and shaking the world beneath them with their own electric sway. They set the beat. It is they who move.

What moves you?

That's what FP Movement, the new active wear line from Free People, asks. What moves you? What stirs your soul, and excites your spirit? What are you chasing? What is worth moving toward?

With its crisp lines, ethereally light fabrics, and transcendently eclectic pieces that mesh fashion and function in the most dynamic way, FP Movement is made for a woman in motion.

Free People's FP Movement line has taken movement in stride, expanding into a yoga collection as well as apparel and lifestyle products inspired by surf and ballet. In an effort to fuse how we move with what we move in, FP Movement has taken the mesmeric relationship between fashion and ballet a step further: Free People has partnered with Oliver Endahl, professional ballet photographer and the mastermind behind Ballet Zaida, an ongoing fine art project devoted to showcasing dancers from all over the world to the general public.

As is his trademark, Endahl photographed dancers against a background of natural beauty. From the idyllic San Francisco beaches to The Walt Disney Concert Hall, all of the dancers that appear in the images-including Ballet Zaida Affinities Alanna Endahl, Morgan Quinn, and Sasha De Sola, demonstrate immaculate technique. It is Endahl's eye and dancer's lines that make FP Movement's pieces come alive in a way that showcases the mover as much as the movement.

Free People's ideal-to outfit their customer throughout every aspect of life-puts the focus on the power of staying active, especially in the sense that their lines are inspired by so-called "alternative sports," or different ways of moving. Is this the new active? Can ballet, surfing, and yoga become as commonplace to the active person as, say, running? Embracing a variety of passions, ways of moving, and therefore, ways of feeling, separates FP movement from other active wear brands, as do their wonderfully colored, flawlessly structured pieces.

It evokes the question: What moves fashion? What moves ballet? Turns out, the result of the question is a kaleidoscope of luminous talent alongside pieces that will give fresh meaning to how we move, and what we shift through life in.

Endahl's photography-his artwork-coupled with Free People's eye for all things airy and radiant makes for a fascinating blend and pleads a bigger question: Is this the collaboration that will take ballet even further into the public's view? Now, not only is ballet an art form in a world all its own, but it has slipped into fashion as well as active wear, worlds that, arguably, couldn't be farther apart.

Ballet is the link: The link between the how we feel, how we move, and how we portray it. It, the art of physical self-expression, ignites the spirit that moves the body into action.

Between dazzling Ballet Zaida shots and FP Movement's breathtaking pieces, there is a new world for ballet: It is what moves you.