books books books...

Everytime I got some time off I go mad in the books section on amazon…

One of my latest reads is “Understanding fashion history” by Valerie Cumming.

I’m definitely missing the academic side of costume after finishing Uni and was looking into doing courses in dress history.However a master is too much and other classes seem to be on a beginner level. So I got another book and started reading. Little did I know that my branch of costume is so cut off from the academic side of dress history or fashion history. This book is a wonderful introduction to this if you, like me, has had your blinkers on and didn’t realize there are two pretty distinct camps in the study of dress (apparantly?). It picks apart the different strands of  dress /fashion history such as defining dress, dress as art to collecting dress and many other subjects.

However this is not the best about this book to me: there is a wonderful chapter on theatrical dress in relation to dress history which I haven’t really come accross before. Pretty inspirational read. I wish this chapter was included in our 1st year of cultural studies which at times seemed pretty cut off from the rest of our studies (costume for performance).

Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

       As mentioned the Greenwich + Docklands international festival was on this weekend.I made my way down to Greenwich Saturday morning and guess what…IT WAS SUNNY! which made it a truly wonderful day….and the festival also functioned as a little bandage on my bleeding “I can’t go to Prague for the Prague Quadrennial”-wound.

For Being a free festival I was super impressed by many of the performances and there was definitely some wowwwwww moments in there! Sadly I missed all of the “Dancing city” performances as they were in Canary Wharf and I decided to stay in Greenwich as there was enough to get through on that side of the river. Dancing city is on again Saturday 2nd  of July (oh I wish it was on all week…amazing dances surrounding city workers rushing to meetings!) so catch it if you can.

The two performances that I really enjoyed was  All That Is Solid Melts Into Air by Tangled Feet (more about this another day) and “As the world tipped

“As the world tipped”, was an aerial show performed by wired aerial theatre concerning ecological crisis. Being described as a “real life disaster movie performed live in the night sky!” It was definitely the most spectacular performance and by the looks of it the one with the biggest budget.

The Performance mixed projection and dance in such a clever way I don’t think anyone in the audience could say they weren’t sucked into the performance at some point… For me the most magical moment was the transformation from the stage being a stage to becoming a screen for projection( I was literally terrified by the sight of the dancers desperately holding onto the top of the stage, and the sheer size and weight of the stage being lifted off the ground  and hovering over us), and the performers wild running and tumbling  through a text  (probably concerning ecological crisis but I didn’t manage to catch it). At some points it got a bit repetitive, maybe from an aerial point of view the choreography could seem boring. However  I think the sacrifice of  a more dance like choreography and a focus on  the interaction between the dancers and the projections  made the images seem  like more than just images, and the realism the piece sometimes obtained  really had an impact of the viewer.

You can still catch this show in Liverpool, at the Stockton International Riverside Festival, in Manchester, Kendal and Warwick later this summer.

You can see a 5 min clip of the performance here