Lecture by Donatella Barbieri with introduction by Professor Emeritus Pamela Howard.
Building on ideas presented in Costume in Performance: Materiality, Culture and the Body, my new book, this lecture will focus on costume conceived through design processes that connect Asia and Europe via selected examples of practice, and the relationship between these in the context of a global, new intercultural dialogue as defined by performance practitioner and scholar Royona Mitra (2015). Amongst others I will refer to works by Akram Khan, Tim Yip and Yukio Ninagawa as well as companies such as Cloudgate, Contemporary Legend Theatre and TheatreWorks. I will contrast their use of costume with that of the old intercultural practices that preceded them, and those of Ariane Mnouchkine primarily. Considered together old and new interculturalism can demonstrate, through costume, a process of reclaiming and of decolonization.
Donatella Barbieri has pioneered methodologies for performance-making through costume in her practice, teaching and writing. A scenographer with a practice stretching back over a few decades, having trained under Pamela Howard and Sally Jacobs, she has explored numerous ways of exposing costume’s ability to embody the human condition. She is the author of Costume in Performance: Materiality, Culture and the Body (2017), and she founded Studies in Costume and Performance, the first research journal to focus entirely on costume for performance. Barbieri has led the curation of Costume in Action at WSD13, thirty costume practice-centered events, as well as a number of other projects, most of which have produced both physical and textual outcomes. They include: Encounters in the Archive, displayed at the V&A (2012) and currently online; physical costume laboratoires, including Wearing Space, PQ15 and Olso 2016; costume-based performances: Old into New at PQ11, and - with DAMU - LES/Forest, Prague PQ07; and Designs for the Performer, PQ03, Theatre Museum, London, and UK national tour (2002-2005). In 2010 she was awarded the joint V&A and LCF Research Fellowship. She teaches on the MA Costume Design for Performance, which she founded, and supervises PhDs at London College of Fashion.