Sketch 1: Interactive Costume Design Proposal

For the first project in my Interactive Technology and Performance class, I will be collaborating with the following beautiful and talented ladies: Janelle Arita, Noemi Amaro, Tiffany Sanchez.

Concept

The theme for our first assignment was “symbiosis.” By definition, symbiosis is “the relationship between two different kinds of living things that live together and depend on each other” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). It is a mutualistic relationship.

After some investigation, we began exploring inspiration in ocean life which is abundant with symbiotic relationships. And we became entranced by the soothing movement of the jellyfish.

Technology

In order to mimic the rhythmic nature of the jellyfish, we found it appropriate to incorporate the breath of the dancer. The expansion and contraction of the jellyfish’s body is reminiscent of breath. We decided to measure breath using a stretch sensor that will be wrapped around the rib cage of the dancer.

Adafruit Industries, Conductive Rubber Cord Stretch Sensor
Adafruit Industries, Conductive Rubber Cord Stretch Sensor

We were initially pretty set on using an LED output with a rippling effect timed with her breath. However, we came across this image of a deep-sea comb jelly:

Image from Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia

This inspired us to use EL Wire in order to create a more organic shape with the lights and better capture the jelly’s bioluminescent likeness with lights dimming and brightening along with the dancer’s breath.

Adafruit Industries, High Brightness Aqua Electroluminescent (EL) Wire
Adafruit Industries, High Brightness Aqua Electroluminescent (EL) Wire

Costume

Our costume plan evolved quite extensively during our brainstorming process.

Initially were we set in having gaucho pants and a form fitting top for contrast.

Image from Discount Dance Supply
Image from Discount Dance Supply
Image from Discount Dance Supply
Image from Discount Dance Supply

However, these pants morphed into a skirt to mimic the shape of the jellyfish. We wanted to create layering tiers of the skirt.

The EL wire would be installed under the layer of fabric, in an organic pattern as shown in the deep-sea comb jelly image mentioned above.

Choreography

Noemi has settled on the following keywords to guide the choreography for the piece: mysterious, soothing, smooth, fluid, and contractions.

Stage Design

We came across the following image for our set inspiration:

The "Silent Movie" Light Curtain for Swarvoski, design: Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven, photographer: Thomas Schäpping
The “Silent Movie” Light Curtain for Swarvoski, design: Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven, photographer: Thomas Schäpping

Ideally, we would love to create a world of some sorts for the dancer to explore. This world would consist of various sheer hanging curtains that the dancer can move in between and around. They would be dimly lit ground up (unlike our inspiration source) in order to make the dancer the primary focus.

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