Still Life No. 8

This spring I once again had the pleasure of creating costumes for Lauren Simpson and Jenny Stulberg. For their Still Life No. 8, we enhanced forest green jumpers with streaks of bold velvet, both with polka dots and a solid hue. There are many things I love about working with Simpson and Stulberg, as I've mentioned, but the primary thing I enjoy is that they choose intense colors. I have yet to work in black, white, or anything I would characterize as "neutral." While those can be strong color choices too, I've seen many choreographers lean heavily on those shades and steer clear of pure, saturated color. I also love fabrics with subtle texture and pattern. Even at a distance, this can please the eye more than a solid color. So velvet with polka dots? Yes, please! 

An added challenge with altering these existing jumpers was their built-in, very sturdy, metal zippers. In Still Life No. 8, the dancers interact with a rolling table and the floor a lot, often rolling on their backs on the hard surfaces. We decided to try a different closure to increase comfort. I removed the zippers and inserted a snap strip instead. This was still secure, but with less pain on impact. And the shape of the circular snaps matched the polka dots! Ah, details... 

Still Life No.8 is being performed at Counterpulse, San Francisco. Click for more details and tickets!

Still Life No. 8 is a dance for three performers. The eighth work in their Still Life series, it explores ideas of ephemerality and permanence, stillness and action. It features an original set, music and costume design.

Still Life Dances is a series of detailed and intimate movement studies based on early American still life paintings from the de Young Museum’s permanent collection. Using speed, precision, and extreme unison, the dances compel the viewer to pay deep attention to fleeting action. This has resulted in a unique movement vocabulary. Virtuosity is not found in big kicks or sweeping movement, but rather it is present in detailed gestures, complex rhythms, and a deep connection between performers. Simpson/Stulburg Collaborations’ process hinges on strict adherence to compositional rules as well as relying on intuition.
— Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations

If you would like a taste of Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations' Still Life Dances, watch this video excerpt of our last dance and costume work together: Still Life No. 6