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Evolving methodology ‐ Designing costumes for Jasmin Vardimon’s immersive work Maze

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This research report seeks to record and reflect on the process of creating costumes for Jasmin Vardimon’s dance theatre work Maze (2015). It examines this experience within the context of an evolving methodology, established at a point of reflection on a twenty-year practice of designing costumes in contemporary dance. Drawing on a background of Laban-centred dance training, the design approach is rooted in a physical understanding; the bodily experience of what it is to dance. This includes an understanding of kinaesthetic empathy, how it was harnessed and subsequently informed the creation of the costumes for two distinct groups of performers. Maze, unlike all previous Vardimon productions, is an ‘immersive’ work. This specific scenographic context had an impact on the collaborative relationship, which led to new thinking in defining a creative relationship with choreography. The intertwining of costume and choreography as visual language is continued with the search for written language that adequately describes the creative processes and relationships, drawing on Vardimon’s own arts practice.
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Keywords: choreography; collaboration; costume design; dance theatre; kinaesthetic empathy; methodology; movement analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Scholar

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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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