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Dressing Wearing. Movement directed by dress directed by movement

Contemporary dance and modern ballet often focus on conveying emotions through
patterns of movement which may be abstract, obvious, or anywhere in between,
supported by music, sound, or spoken words that set the mood. Scenography is
typically sparse or confined to the available space, leaving the dancers as the main
instrument of communication.
This work explores dressing and wearing, with a focus on how garments can inform
and direct movement, choreography, and performance, and in turn how movement
may inform and contribute to the development of dynamic garments. Through a
series of live experiments, ranging from self-instigated performance/video work
in collaboration with choreographers and dancers to performances of garment
interaction associated with everyday life dressing, the performative, spatial, and
interactive properties of garments are explored.
The results present alternative models of collaborative interaction related to
various aspects of kinaesthetics, choreography, scenography, and performance
space, and offer wide-ranging creative potential. The work shows how designers
and choreographers can collaborate on performance scenarios within the context
of modern ballet and contemporary dance productions, thus creating conceptual
garments that influence the design, choreography, and movement pattern based on a
re-conception of what it means to dress and to wear. In relation to the act of dressing
and undressing, alternative types of garment and ways of wearing and performing
were found where garments act as co-choreographers in the development of
performances. Moreover, by having wearing and dressing as a form of choreography
these acts, act as the co-creator of garments both in our everday lives and on stage.
As a consequence, the results also demonstrates how the agency of garments can
function as a manuscript in modern dance, and how performance itself redefines the
notion of wearing and the concept of garments.
Boras, 2016

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University of Boras