Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Breathing Spaces

I've been very preoccupied and occupied with a big project.


I've recently been working on costumes (designs and realisations) for a dance performance of a newly commissioned work entitled "Breathing Spaces". It's being performed at the Youth Dance England conference at the Mermaid Theatre tomorrow, and I was able to attend the dress rehearsal yesterday.


The whole project has been developed over a space of a mere six weeks, so creating designs and costumes for 34 performers has been intense and a challenge. The project is based around our community and features 32 children from the village (attending the primary and community comprehensive schools) who belong to the Yeo Dance 09 Group


Most of the costumes involved refashioning t-shirts, dyeing and space-dyeing them, cutting them up and recombining them with additions of t-shirting, muslin and other fabrics in earth colours. These were then further embellished using fabric paints and sequins. Each costume was unique but related to all the others.


I was lucky enough to receive practical support from a dozen mothers from the school (including the headteacher's!), not all of whom had children taking part in the performance. They came and volunteered their time, and we enjoyed exploring the capabilities of fabrics, sewing machines and ourselves over four days in total, with the volunteers coming in when they could.


These are some photos from the dress rehearsal in the school hall, to show some of the costumes in action.


In the background is Elizabeth Glen, who was instrumental in developing the music for the piece as well as adding her glrious voice to the performance. She is wearing the silk wrap which I made, dyed in water/river colours.


The theatre performance will take place against a backdrop screen, on which will be shown a film made of the dancers on the Millenium Green, our Breathing Space. I have not seen this but the Artistic Director, Carolyn Savidge, is thrilled with it and describes it as breathtaking. I hope that the whole project will be performed locally so that we can celebrate the effort and creativity of everyone involved.



MargaretR said...

What a contract that was Sue! Those costumes look fantastic.

JaneO said...

Those costumes look really effective, such an imaginative use of t-shirts.

Gill said...

Sue, what a fantastic job you did with those costumes - it must have been such hard work but they are stunning. Many congratulations.

Helen Cowans said...

Wonderful costumes!!!! They look fantastic :)

Aussie Jo said...

Gorgeous costumes, they remind me a little of India Flint's for the ballet.
The performance looks like it would be fantastic, will there be a podcast to watch at some stage.