Porcelain Moves: When Costume Choreographs with Summerlin, D. Perceptive Fragility

Michelle Man, Dawn Summerlin

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    This collaborative research project explores the choreographic possibilities from the design, fabrication and wearing of a porcelain corseted costume. Summerlin’s practice-led research Perceptive Fragility, focuses on the effects of non-conventional costuming of the body and how the physical restriction and sculptural elements of the porcelain corset manifest as the ‘text’ to the work that is being made. From a choreographer’s perspective, Man suggests that the compression exerted by the brittleness of the costume’s material against the muscular, fleshy body excites aesthetics of ‘an almost breaking’. Whilst recognising both genealogies of ‘restriction’ and ‘release’ in the history of costume for Western forms of theatre dance (Claid, Tomic-Vajagic) and what has become to be known as ‘corset controversy’, Man’s paper expands on the phenomenological experiences of resistance and rupture from within the costume. Her embodied research explores notions of ‘self fragilization’ (Ettinger) and the dis-orientating agency the porcelain costume has over her choreographic practice. Bibliography
 Claid, E., (2006) Yes? No! Maybe...Seductive Ambiguity in Dance.Oxon:Routledge. Ettinger, B., (2009). 'Fragilization and Resistance' and 'Neighborhood and Shechina'. Studies in the Maternal. 1(2), pp.1–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/sim.141 Tomic
Tomic- Vajagic, T., (2104),’The dancer at work: The aesthetic and politics of practice clothes and leotard costumes in ballet performance’, Scene2:1+2,p.89-105,doi:10.1836/scene.2.1-2.89_1
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2016
    EventCostume and Fashion in Context and Practice Symposium - The Fashion and Costume Research Centre, University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
    Duration: 5 Dec 20166 Dec 2016


    ConferenceCostume and Fashion in Context and Practice Symposium
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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