In case you didn’t already know, I happen to love (love, love) the show So You Think You Can Dance. As someone who used to dance for hours pretty much everyday, it’s practically a requirement. Dance is one of my passions, and a passion that is in part fuel for one of my other great loves which is clothing and therefore fashion/costume design (which I have a degree in).You see, I sort of like to live (in theory) as though we are always dancing, and your clothes should move with you and add to your “character”. Like in acting, costumes play a huge role in defining characters/mood/etc in a piece of dance. Sometimes the costume doesn’t just define the character but becomes a part of the dance, a metaphor, too, such as in a particular piece danced by Jeanine Mason and Kayla Radomski and choreographed by Mia Michaels in the So You Think You Can Dance finale on Wednesday evening.
The piece was meant to chronicle the transformative process the contestants of the show go through – that we all go through while making our way through our lives: working hard, shedding our layers, making our way to our “true selves”. The girls start stage left and make their way to the right, beginning in a frothy dress of many layers that they shed one by one like weight off their back until they’re free.
While there were many (many, many) wonderful dances of the show (and out there in the world), I was immediately transfixed, admittedly, by the costumes in this piece. I loved the big colorful frothy dress and they way all of its colored layers moved, and was delighted with every single incarnation of the costume as it’s layers were removed. Each worked and moved so well together. Bashfully, I admit that while the dance was beautiful I spent in inordinate amount of time watching the the dress. I’m a nerd like that, in case you haven’t been able to tell by how many times I had to watch the video to get decent screen captures. (since I can’t find it on youtube watch it here)
I guess I just relate really well to the metaphor of the dance, and the literal interpretation of shedding layers of clothes as shedding the layers of oneself. I’m reminded of my younger years when I was always, always dressed eccentrically in a cacophony of bright colors. I wanted to be sure that I stood out. I had too. I would feel too naked and anonymous and “not me” if I were out in jeans and a tank top. It felt wrong. And slowly, slowly over the years I’ve become ok with myself enough that, while I still rock my sometimes eccentric style, I am actually able to go out in jeans and a tank top or incredibly simple anonymous dress. I’m ok with being simpler, now. And somehow, I’ve found, people can still see “me” (which I can’t lie, I was a little surprised about).
Sorry for the posting pokyness, loves. Been shedding some (metaphorical) layers. I’m working, however, on getting back on the posting train. ;)