Thursday, January 7, 2010

My (Mini) Winter Vacation

December 7 – January 13

While fall semester was officially over at Syracuse University, it didn’t mean I was on break for the next month. Two days after the promo shoot, Kendal and I went to New York City to spend five days doing research for the show. We saw Chicago and Wicked on Broadway, visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums, and were constantly brainstorming about the show.

After NYC, Kendal flew home to Seattle, and I went to visit friends in San Francisco. While there, I shopped around for inspiration at fabric stores, flea markets, and thrift stores. San Francisco is the perfect place for this and it was a nice change of scenery from Syracuse.

Following my two short vacations I was offered a freelance project for the band Lotus. I have done costume work for them before, and they asked me to do their wardrobe for their New Year’s Eve show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. Their garments looked fantastic, but following the show I was more than ready to get back to work on Metanoia.

Now, I am in Florida visiting my mom and preparing my final designs. The illustrations I am currently working on will be used in the graphic design pieces that are being created for the Metanoia artwork. They will also help me move forward with my design ideas for the next phase of this project.

Project Prep

November 30 – December 4, 2009

It was finally time for the promo video shoot. It seemed like I had been waiting for months for this week to arrive, but the second it did time couldn’t have moved any faster. Everyone was ready to go; the costumes were in the final stages of construction, my choreographer Kendal Bogan was in from Seattle and rehearsing with the dancers, and the rest of the crew was scheduled to arrive in Syracuse for a production meeting/dinner the day before the shoot. Even my first choice location, the Case Supply Building, which I thought had fallen through and had already found a replacement for, ended up becoming available last minute. Everything was running smoothly.

My cast and crew for the promo video included the following positions:


Kelly Bogan – Producer / Director

Christopher Toppino – Producer / Assistant Director
Justin Scuteri – Production Manager

Kristin Lubsen – Assistant to the Director


Hank Vohrer – Director of Photography
Adam Brown – 1st Assistant Camera

Grip and Electric

Scott Peters – Gaffer

Bryan Blatt – Gaffer

Hair and Makeup

Liz Lanza’s Hair Salon – Hair

Holly Piselli – Makeup


Erin Christine Scialabba

Mary Claire King

Kendal Bogan

Accessories: Design and Purpose

November 30, 2009

The following is a breakdown of the three accessories I created for the dancers to wear in the promo video.

Two Person Leather Belt aka “The Counter Balance Harness”
The idea for this harness originated from the group auditions held at the beginning of last semester. I had Mary Claire and Erin both wear a harness that connected them to each other with two ropes, each about eight yards long. The purpose of the harness was to constrict the dancers’ movements. Each was forced to respond to every shift in weight experienced by the other. The “Counter Balance Harness” took on a life of its own when I re-designed it with a focus on what the dancers needed to move freely and comfortably. Together, Mary Claire, Erin, and I decided to use leather, as it provided enough structure, flexibility, and stability. This harness became our favorite dance accessory because of the sense of freedom and experimental ability it provided for the dancers.

Three Person Belt
The choice to design a three person belt was an obvious one once we started working on the two person belt. Having three people in belts allows for two dancers to stabilize one dancer as they perform. More weight can be supported with this belt, therefore allowing the performer to conquer more extreme poses and angles.

Fabric Circles
The fabric circle was introduced to the dancers during our last rehearsal. We are still working on mastering the incorporation of this into our performance, but we were attracted to it for the promo video because it provided even more freedom than the harnesses to the dancers. It also doubles as a garment when not in use. The dancers loved experimenting with the fabric circle. It helped them develop more expressive movements than they had with the harnesses. For me, this accessory embodies a more free form version of the harness.

White: The Way to Go

November 26-29, 2009

As soon as I was back in Syracuse I began separating my fabrics and preparing my dye baths. In total there were 18 baths, dying my new fabrics a variety of reds, purples, yellows, and teals. With my video shoot quickly approaching I didn’t have much time to have my dancers’ costumes ready. The dying process ended up taking four full days, and much to my dismay, I had to reevaluate my plan for the shoot.

While I was frustrated that I didn’t have more time, I knew that changing my construction plans was the best decision to make. I decided to make white body suits for each of the dancers and a series of colored fabric circles and leather belts to accompany their suits. White was definitely the way to go.

Back to NYC

On November 20, I left Syracuse for New York City for a full day of fabric shopping. This time I was much better prepared, after my overwhelming day back in September. After combing through endless racks of knits, I settled on 53 yards of white jersey knit fabrics. My plan was to take my new fabric back to Syracuse, dye it, and use it for appliqué on the white body suits I was constructing.