Costume Designing Performance
In this paper I reflect on the impact of costume (design) in contemporary performance-making. My focus lies on the production process. When I talk about particular effects of costume I mean its effect on performers and the artistic or technical team, not on the audience.
Besides the practical effects of the costume, I also look for its function on a more symbolic level. Functions of costume may include those of a bridge or connection, a filter, an intensifier or other.
To visualize my thoughts, I draw on examples of work by myself and my colleagues. I will also use findings from my 2010 theatre science diploma thesis: Of kayak people and toxic dreams – Things in the production process and object-human-relations on stage. I borrowed the actor-network theory from science studies and applied parts of its methodology and terminology to analyse the interrelations between objects and humans in theatre production and performing.
The perspective of the actor-network theory also seems fruitful within this context. Its framework can help identify the various forms of participation of material actants belonging to the costume in the production process and thus it can help consider and understand the creative agency of costume.
Noemi Baumblatt is a Berlin-based stage and costume designer, working in dance, theatre and film. During her stage design studies at University of Applied Arts Vienna she collaborated with the independent theatre company toxic dreams and the Dutch object theatre group De Spullenmannen. Simultaneously, she also studied theatre, film and media science at the University of Vienna and has maintained a theoretical interest in the performing arts and in her own practice ever since. In 2016, Noemi started focusing on costume design for contemporary dance. She is interested in spaces, bodies and materials and exploring their interrelations also through her own art projects.
photographer: Timo Reinders
name of the performance: Ariodante
choreography: Marie-Lena Kaiser
dancer on the photo: Enis Turan
name of the performance: De Lady in de Tutti Frutti Hat
by toxic dreams