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Draping Bodices, Design in China Featured in Cincy

Cathryn Ellis
Costume Design & Technology Commission

As everyone works through a fall which seems to be whizzing by, it is hard to remember that registration for the Cincinnati 2009 Conference & Stage Expo has already begun, and it is time to plan the trip. The second day, March 19, has many exciting workshops coming from the Costume Design & Technology Commission.

After time to enjoy the opening of Stage Expo and explore its exhibits, the first costume session on Thursday will start at 12:15 p.m. and is the always popular Costume Poster Session chaired by Donna Meester. (See related story here.) This is a juried presentation of posters that involve innovative or creative solutions to topics ranging from research, latest designs, new techniques and products, new uses for existing products, and fabric modification.

The second session begins at 2:30 p.m. and features Han Chuenqi, one of USITT’s international guests. He was the costume designer for the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. One of the most important costume designers in China, Mr. Han is the dean of the design department of the National Dance Academy of China, and director of the Committee of Costume Design for the OISTAT Center in China.

His artistic talent has been well recognized with numerous national awards. His recent design credits include: the Opening Ceremony of 21th International University Games; the Opening Ceremony of the Kunming International Expo; the Ceremony of the 39th National Anniversary of the Singapore Republic; and the opening ceremony of the East Asia Games. Onstage, he has designed for opera, dance, and musicals for many leading theatre companies in China in performances including Aida, Dream of Dunhuang, and The Butterfly.

The final costume session on Thursday begins at 4:45 p.m.. Graceful Bodices: Draping over Period Corsets will be presented by Susan Davis and is a follow-up to her very popular session two years ago on Draping a Graceful Skirt. The session will demonstrate draping bodices from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including how to deal with period shapes considering fabric grain, style lines, and proportion. Paper patterns and sleeves will be discussed, but the primary focus will be methods to create beautiful bodices.

Join the Costume Design & Technology Commission on the second day of the Conference for these exciting sessions. Coming in December: a sneak peak into Draping in Half Scale, Fosshape Armor, a retrospective on opera designer Robert O’Hearn, Wardrobe Work on Broadway, the distinguished achievement honoree, and, of course, the Costume Design & Technology Commission Reception.


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