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Bophelo: costume design for four dance works.

Hammond, Abigail (2006) Bophelo: costume design for four dance works. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Hammond, Abigail

Bophelo continues Hammond's collaborative partnership with Tavaziva Dance as a costume designer, and consists of four works: 'Mandla' (meaning 'power' in Ndebele) was commissioned by Royal Opera House 2 and premiered in the Clore Studio in summer 2006; 'Chivezwa' (meaning 'sculpture' in Shona), and 'Worlds Apart' (re-worked from the 2005 programme) and 'Proud and Unprotected' by guest choreographer Neville Campbell. ('Bophelo' itself means 'life' in Sisutu).

Hammond researched and designed different costumes for these dance works, in each case acting as an interpreter of movement and choreographic process.

In 'Mandla' the choreography fuses traditional celebratory dances with modern images of war. Hammond combined the uniform of the professional soldier with foliage prints in browns and greens.

'Chivezwa' seeks to combine two dancers' bodies in a constantly moving sculpture accompanied by a score of insect sounds and cello. Tavaziva wanted the dancers to look naked but with extensive clay body paint. This raised questions for the designer as to the ways in which a believable painted nakedness could be achieved, given the close proximity of the audience in small touring venues. Hammond tested different materials, but the sheerness of the fabrics chosen not only made them difficult to paint but also raised the issue of the degree to which the dancers' own skin colour should be accentuated.

'Worlds Apart' was reworked choreographically and to add a fresh appeal in the costumes Hammond introduced flashes of sunset colours, hinting at the indigenous African roots of this community inspired piece.

'Proud and Unprotected' is based on the poem 'Walls' by Oswald Mtshalis. Hammond's designs are the result of observing rehearsals and reflect the progress of the work from abstract concepts to the dancers' embodiment of more literal and recognisable character types.

Following the tour of London and the U.K., 'Bophelo' also travelled to the Harare Arts Festival in May 2007.

Other Contributors:
ChoreographerTavaziva, Bawren
ChoreographerCampbell, Neville
Your affiliations with UAL: Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 29 September 2006
Related Websites: http://www.tavazivadance.com/html/company.html
Related Websites:
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
London and United Kingdom Tour29 September 200623 November 2006
Harare Arts FestivalMay 2007
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2009 21:09
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 15:28
Item ID: 1922
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1922

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