Ballet leads Milan events to mark 10 years since Versace's death

ROME, June 19, 2007 (AFP) - Ten years after the death of Italian designer Gianni Versace, French dancer Maurice Bejart is dedicating a special ballet to him next month in the famous Scala in Milan, the city authorities said Tuesday, June 19th.


Gianni Versace and Maurice Béjart in 1997 - Photo : Giuseppe Farinacci/AFP

On July 15, 1997, the 51-year-old Versace was gunned down by Andrew Philip Cunanan on a killing spree. The 27-year-old committed suicide a few days later.

Ten years to day after his death, the Scala will host a single performance of a show choreographed by Bejart, for whom Versace designed several costumes.

The two men worked together for the first time in 1983 on the ballet "Dionysos", and were friends from then on.

In the two-act ballet entitled 'Grazie Gianni, con amore' (Thank you Gianni, with love), Bejart will revive scenes from "La Metamorphose des dieux", "Souvenir de Leningrad" and "Pyramide".

Meanwhile, during Milan fashion week in September, an exhibition entitled "Myths, gods and heroes according to Versace" will present about 70 works of art dating from 700 to 1996 which belonged to the late designer.

The Milan authorities also want to name a road or park after Versace, and are looking for a place in the city that could "bear witness to what Gianni Versace brought to Milan".

After the designer's death, his sister Donatella Versace took over as creative head of the fashion house and her brother, Santo, became the CEO.

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