Bettina John worked closely as the costume designer with Arthur Pita on this postgraduate contemporary dance show at The Place.
About the choreography
Inspired by the Roman and Grecian gods and the opera singer Maria Callas, Arthur Pita created a culturally rich and diverse piece full of unexpected moments. Commissioned by The Place he worked with the postgraduate course for 6 weeks on their final piece shown in July 2011. Using an elegant and subtle dance language with a particular focus on hand gesture, the choreographer’s intention was to turn the ten female and one male dancer into gods and goddesses.
In close relationship to the students Arthur Pita developed a three part choreography with unexpected changes from a rather dark introduction with heavy metal music, to a playful miming of an interview with Maria Callas from the 70’s through to a revisit of the themes introduced in the first part.
Costume Designer’s Approach
Bettina John designs were inspired by Roman, Grecian and Egyptian attire, especially by Cleopatra. Additionally she looked into the 30’s when that time had a strong revival in fashion and architecture. The shapes, fabrics and cuts of the dresses were heavily inspired by fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet, who developed the biased cut technique in the 30’s. It became an iconic dress reminiscent of the fluidity of Roman and Grecian aesthetics.
Photographs by Jaime Leme