CriticalDance Forum

costume design--Beatrix Potter
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Author:  *Jan* [ Sun Jun 03, 2001 7:46 am ]
Post subject:  costume design--Beatrix Potter

Next spring we are planning a short ballet/modern piece to the Beatrix Potter music/tales and need some advice on how best to construct animal heads that are lightweight, secure, and the dancer can still navigate in them. I feel paper maiche (sp?) can be too heavy --has anyone any experience in constructing heads and/or animal costumes that are lightweight and believable? Is elablorate make-up better than a mask? Thoughts on safety concerns, weight of the heads/masks, and general tips are much needed! Our audience will be more than half children, so we cannot go too abstract.<BR>

Author:  Caroline Ferreira [ Sun Jun 03, 2001 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: costume design--Beatrix Potter

I had the pleasure of making costumes for a children's cast of 'Carnival of Animals' a while ago. It would take too long to go into details but if you want to e-mail me direct, we can arrange a telephone call rather. The best 'ballet animals' I have seen close up are from Birmingham Royal Ballet/David Bintely's Penguin Cafe - very clever, but if you are wanting effective, cost efficient,heat resistant and safe 'heads' we can exchange some ideas.

Author:  Caroline Ferreira [ Sun Jun 03, 2001 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: costume design--Beatrix Potter

er... I just lookd up where you are posting from.. perhaps a telephone call would be too costly. E-mail me and we will take it from there.

Author:  Basheva [ Sun Jun 03, 2001 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: costume design--Beatrix Potter

Hello Jan....I don't believe I have seen you for a's great to see you again.

Author:  Misa_danseuse [ Sun Jun 03, 2001 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: costume design--Beatrix Potter

Hello Jan,<BR>I worked with a children's company last summer that used masks in their production. There were several types. Some masks were constructed from felt and designed to be worn sort of like a hat or ski cap. Felt is lightweight and inexpensive. A good variety of colors are available and it can be embellished with ears, eyes etc. (use stuffing on certain features to add a 3d look). On the downside, if you are dancing for too long with felt it can become quite warm and itchy.<P>I know you mentioned papier mache was a bit heavy but last summer we used some lightweight papier mache that was wonderful. It all depends on what you use as an armature and how many layers you put on. For example, some people use clay as an armature which can be very heavy! Others use plastic (milk jugs cut in half make a wonderful armature for a lightweight mask!) and these lightweight materials make wearing a mask quite comfy, not to mention they are wonderfully easy to make with a lot of room for different types of design. My mother is a sculptor who works a lot with papier mache and has many many methods (some of which are qutie sophisticated contrary to popular belief) for creating all different types of papier mache artworks, if you'd like more indepth info. on papier mache mask making please let me know or e-mail me.<P>In any case Good Luck! I adore the Beatrix Potter tales and I'm sure the production will be wonderful for everyone involved!<P>------------------<BR>The dignity of dance lies in the most noble of instruments, the living bodies of men and women.<BR>~Mary Wigman~<BR>

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