Ballets Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again) is the name of the performance done by Lady Gaga with the Bolshoi Ballet on November 14, 2009. It was part of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) 30th anniversary gala. During that five-minute production number, Gaga debuted "Speechless".
The museum asked artist Francesco Vezzoli to create the centerpiece of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art's 30th anniversary gala fundraiser.
- "They basically offered me a social ritual as a blank canvas to be turned into an artwork. Some artists might see this as a nightmare, but for me it’s like a surreal dream, and in true surreal style I wanted to mix together the youngest and most daring pop icon, Lady Gaga, with the oldest and most classically trained group of dancers in the world, the Bolshoi Ballet. The performance will take many references from Le Bal (1935), the only one of the Ballets Russes ever designed by Balanchine in collaboration with an Italian artist, the Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico. The output will be flawlessly imperfect and unpredictable, just like any overambitious happening should be.” — Francesco Vezzoli
In the morning of the event, Gaga, Vezzoli and the Bolshoi Ballet dancers rehearsed only once because of the limited budget. Gaga wore spike-heel black patent-leather lace-up boots, paired with ripped fishnets, a studded leather vest, a black leotard slit to the navel, and sunglasses. Her hair was a tangle of white-blond cotton candy streaked with pink.
For the event, Damien Hirst customized Gaga's piano with butterflies and her hat was designed by Frank Gehry. Other contributions include masks created by director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, Catherine Martin, and costumes designed by Vezzoli and Miuccia Prada. During the dinner, Gaga with Bolshoi Ballet dancers and Vezzoli performed "Ballets Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again)". Which consisted of Gaga debuting her ballad "Speechless" with Bolshoi Ballet dancers dancing around the piano and the stage. The performance took place in five minutes.
In February of 2010, Jonas Åkerlund released a trailer named "Ballets Russes, Italian Style — Coming Soon". The footage include rehearsal footage mixed with clip of the live performance. The film was directed by Akerlund and edited by Christian Larson.
- “It made sense, given Francesco’s taste for art , which has made use of fake movie posters and fake perfume campaigns. I thought it would be really cool to create a trailer of sorts for something that has already happened and will never happen again.” — Jonas Åkerlund
- Set list
- "Speechless" (Acoustic)
- Staging by David Hockney
- Customized Steinway grand piano by Damien Hirst
- Makeup by Billy B
- Hair by Syd Curry
- Masks by Baz Luhrmann and Cahterine Martin, Gaga's hat by Frank Gehry, Gaga and the dancers outfits by Francesco Vezzoli and Miuccia Prada