Virtual visit to Sadler’s Wells for Chalayan’s ‘Gravity Fatigue’


By Lucy Albuquerque, Block 5

We recently took a virtual school trip to go and see Hussein Chalayan’s Gravity Fatigue at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Gravity Fatigue is a mixture of a dance and fashion show all in one, and this is what makes this show so unique.

As Chalayan is a fashion designer, not a choreographer himself, he worked with Damien Jalet to create the show. Chalayan wanted to show the connection between clothes and movement, and how they work together in space. He uses other ways as well as movement to portray the message to the audience; for example, he explores different floorwork and how the dancers engage with their costumes.

Throughout the show, the lighting stood out to me, as it was used to show a change of dancer or the emotion that Chalayan was trying to embody. Lighting was also used to highlight the direction that dancers moved in – for instance, when a circular spotlight lit up, the dancers turned in a circle as if in a trance, reflecting the shape of the lighting.

There were many moments in the performance that stood out, the main one being when a dancer walked on stage as if on a catwalk in a long red dress. When she lifted her arms, her red dress began to move, contorting itself into different shapes, and as the dress moved the dancer showed signs of discomfort.

I believe that Chalayan’s message throughout the performance is to show the concept of the fashion industry, and all its aspects of how models feel, and even at one point touching on the stigma surrounding the fashion industry and a certain body type.