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The costumographer: Revolutions in performance pedagogy

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This visual essay reflects on the impact of costume on dance performance practice and pedagogy, focusing initially on the author’s professional engagement with experimental costume pedagogy and the impact this had on subsequent work. Discussing the transformation of her creative practice through interaction with costume, and most recent collaborative costume performance project Elizabeth & the Three Sisters, the text proposes the term ‘costumographer’ as a new definition for choreographers and performers working with costume as starting point and principal focus of the performance. It highlights the effect costume can have on the understanding and implementation of the moving and performing body, as well as the devising process and brings awareness to the lack of real costume experiences in dance education, advocating the importance of sharing pedagogies and artistic practices to critique and develop interconnecting art forms relating to performance.

Keywords: choreography; costumographer; education; embodiment; performance; somatic

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Teesside University

Publication date: December 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Studies in Costume & Performance aims to encourage, generate and disseminate critical discourse on costume and the relationship between costume and performance. It considers costume as a symbiotic articulation of the body of the performer which is visual, material, temporal and performative. Whether performed live, seen through the camera lens or found in an archive, costume embodies and reflects the performance itself.

    The journal will bring together experts in costume, scenography, performance, fashion and curation as well as critically engaged practitioners and designers to reflect and debate costume in performance, its reception in production, exhibition and in academic critical discourse. Submission will include visual essays. The journal is double-blind peer-reviewed in order to maintain the highest standards of scholastic integrity.

    Past and current practice is considered through the ‘reading’ of the costumed body as a communication of embodied, cultural, social, artistic and historical narratives. As such this journal is an articulation of practice, which, through this process redefines practice itself.

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