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Choreography and sounding wearables

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This article explores the role of ‘sounding costumes’ and body-worn technologies for choreographic composition, with real-time interactional elements (such as microphones, speakers, sensors) potentially integrated into movement and expressive behaviour. Sounding garments explore the interactions between dancer/performer, the costume and the environment in the generation and manipulation of sonic textures. Briefly discussing historical precedents of integrated composition, the article will mainly refer to sounding prototypes in DAP-Lab’s latest production, For the time being [Victory over the Sun] (2012–2014), for which I designed the wearables, highlighting new methods for building sensual wearable electro-acoustic costumes to create kinaesonic choreographies. The article analyses the multi-perspectival potentials of such conceptual garments/wearable artefacts to play a significant part in the creation process of a performance, focusing on how wearable design can influence and shape movement vocabularies through the impact of its physical material presence on the body, distinctive design aesthetics and sound-generating capabilities. Choreographically, garments and body-worn technologies act as amplifying instruments as well as sculptural constraints or conversely enablers of new movement and ways of sounding/listening that affect different kinetic and acoustic awareness (both in the performers and in the audience).
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Keywords: body; costume; interactive performance; movement choreography; sound; wearable

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: London College of Fashion

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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  • Scene is dedicated to a critical examination of space and scenic production. The journal provides an opportunity for dynamic debate, reflection and criticism. With a strong interdisciplinary focus, we welcome articles, interviews, visual essays, reports from conferences and festivals. We want to explore new critical frameworks for the scholarship of creating a scene.
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