Studies in Costume & Performance 2.1 – out now!

Intellect is delighted to announce that the new issue of Studies in Costume & Performance (2.1) is now available.


For more information about this issue please click here or email


Articles within this issue include (partial list):


Hand in Glove: Reflections on a performed costume exhibition and the stories behind the garments

Authors: Mary Kate Connolly

Page Start: 9


This article details a conversation with seminal choreographer Lea Anderson, following her performed exhibition, Hand in Glove, which was staged at the V&A Museum, London, in April 2016. Hand in Glove featured over 300 costumes and accessories from the archives of Anderson’s two renowned contemporary dance companies, The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs. These companies played a prominent role in the evolution of British contemporary dance from the 1980s until their dissolution in 2011. Costume and design have long been utilized as transformative elements within Anderson’s work, giving rise to characteristic intertextual layering, blurring of boundaries and the destabilization of hetero-normative representations of the dancing body. Hand in Glove occupied the Raphael Gallery at the V&A from 22 to 24 April 2016 with vignettes from ten of Anderson’s works performed by students from London Contemporary Dance School. The conversation with Anderson outlines the process involved in the mounting of Hand in Glove alongside accounts of her early works, and the influence which design and costume exert in her choreography. Anderson describes her collaborations with designers, in particular Sandy Powell and Simon Vincenzi, and the ways in which her work with costume has evolved over time. Reflections on the implications of the exhibition itself (as a rare opportunity to view costumes performed live within a gallery space) are thus placed within the wider context of her choreographic practice and visual influences.


Brides and widows: Iconic dress and identity in Howard Barker’s costumes

Authors: Lara Maleen Kipp

Page Start: 27


One of the strongest recurring motifs in the work of contemporary British playwright Howard Barker is women’s marital status: brides and widows abound in his work. Their status as such is often crucially configured, but also subverted through their costumes (in a Western cultural context). This article considers the central role that brides and widows play in a variety of Barker’s dramatic texts and identifies some core working principles with regard to his use of costume. It explores the notion of the iconic garment, as proposed by Hannah in 2014, and its influence on these characters’ identities. Drawing on aesthetic discourse, in particular that of the sublime, I analyse how Barker proposes a reconsideration of stable subject identity through these recognizable, yet ambiguous and unstable female figures.


Australia on display: Tracing an Australian identity through the evolving costume design for The Australian Ballet’s production The Display

Authors: Emily Collett and Roger Alsop

Page Start: 61


The topic of costume for performance as a marker of national identity is in its infancy within the context of theatre studies. As the means by which an audience relates to character and narrative, costume is central to our understanding of identity. Here, we consider costume for performance, specifically for dance, in Australia as an indicator of the developing national identity, using the 1964, 1983 and 2012 Australian Ballet productions of The Display as a case study. The original 1964 costumes were credited to expatriate artist Sidney Nolan, the 1983 version was designed by Sydney fashion designer Adele Weiss and the 2012 remount utilized photographs, written documentation and memories to recreate the original 1964 costumes. By examining the three sets of costumes, we aim to demonstrate how a study of the costumed body offers insights into Australia’s evolving national character.

Posted by Katy Dalli at 11:38 (0) comments
Share this:   ShareMore
Your tags: Please login or register if you don't have a user account.
Post a comment