Whispers the Paper Ballet Collaboration

Nicole Voris

A few weeks ago Oliver and I traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska to do a collaboration with Whispers the Paper Ballet. Nicole Battelle Van Hook is the artist behind the beautiful paper sculptures.  Check out her website to see more of her work.  

The photos we got are probably some of my favorite photos we've ever taken.  We shot in three locations around Lincoln and we had three different looks.  Below I'll show you some behind the scenes shots to see how Nicole and her assistant Alex Allison created the paper couture looks.  

The first day we shot the music sheet tutu at the Lincoln Teacher's fountain.  When we got there they started constructing the paper sculpture on me.  I wore trunks and a bandeau as the base and the paper was stapled and pinned on.  

 Alex and Nicole stapled the paper tutu skirt to my briefs. 

Alex and Nicole stapled the paper tutu skirt to my briefs. 

 The bodice was pinned to my bandeau.

The bodice was pinned to my bandeau.

 Close up of the skirt.  

Close up of the skirt.  

We spent about three hours shooting.  Throughout the evening more paper was added to the skirt to change the shape.  The idea of shooting paper in the fountain was that the dress would change shape and that it would be a one time use of the sculpture. 

 I think it's quite lovely!

I think it's quite lovely!

The next afternoon we went to the Nebraska state capital building.  This was the simplest of the pieces we did, but I think it's my favorite.  The look to me is a deconstructed swan.  I wore my own practice tutu and bandeau.  Nicole attached her signature handmade paper feathers.  She cuts each one free hand and then sprinkles glitter to make them sparkle.  This set was a mix of white and gold.  A combination I am fond of!

 Nicole viewed me as a living sculpture and placed the feathers accordingly.

Nicole viewed me as a living sculpture and placed the feathers accordingly.

 The feathers cascaded from my right shoulder down my left hip.  They were also attached to my shoes. 

The feathers cascaded from my right shoulder down my left hip.  They were also attached to my shoes. 

 I love!

I love!

Later that evening we shot the last look.  The idea is that the ribbons from my pointe shoes wrapped up my body and became my outfit. This outfit was the most involved in terms of time spent creating the piece.  It took over an hour and a few tries, but in the end it turned out great!

 The ribbon was wrapped around my trusty bandeau. 

The ribbon was wrapped around my trusty bandeau. 

 It took a bit to figure out how to keep the ribbon from sliding.  A combination of duct tape, safety pins, and sewing me in did the trick! 

It took a bit to figure out how to keep the ribbon from sliding.  A combination of duct tape, safety pins, and sewing me in did the trick! 


 The neck and hip piece were made from paper to give them the dramatic shape. 

The neck and hip piece were made from paper to give them the dramatic shape. 

We shot at the "Reverie" sculpture in front of the quilting museum. It was like the two pieces were made for each other. 

 Just voguing 

Just voguing 

If you want to see more photos from this collaboration be sure to follow me, Ballet Zaida, and Nicole Battelle Van Hook on Instagram and Facebook.

Nicole Voris - Instagram: @NicoleVoris       Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicolevorisofficial

Ballet Zaida - Instagram: @Ballet Zaida             Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balletzaida

Nicole Battelle Van Hook - Instagram: @whispersthepaperballet Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whispersfromthepaperballet


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