Costumes

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Someimagination's picture
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Costumes

Does anyone else agree that CDS is getting slack with their costume and makeup creations? I'm finding each show is adding more and more airbrushed spandex into their shows. I understand that for the artist to move and perform, their costume requires to be stretchy and comfortable, however spray painted spandex just doesn't do it for me anymore. The only exception to this is in TOTEM. Also in Volta, 80% of the costumes look like the costume makers just went through a bin and wrapped whatever materials they could find onto each artist and then called it a costume. Even Joey's costume with all the gold spikey things is nearly a rip off of Crystal Man out of Totem. 

Make up seems to be getting more and more basic with nothing to help transport me into another world. Volta looks like facepaint gone wrong, and Luzia just looks lazy. Makeup is apart of a costume and helps to tell a characters story. 

Cirque is about pushing boundaries (or should I say was) and transporting us into another world with makeup (Varekai), showing us the beauty of colour (Dralion), bringing characters to life (Ovo) and storytelling (Quidam). 

Mungojerrie2010's picture
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More spandex is never a bad thing to me ;) But I do agree the costumes lately have felt more basic ban shows past

"All your dreams can come true. IF you have to courage to pursue them."-Walt Disney

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Regarding the makeup, I think what you're seeing is less laziness and more evolution and the impact of current trends. Ten and twenty years ago, most circuses favored the more exaggerated makeup we saw in Saltimbanco, Alegria, and what we still see in many cases in Mystere, La Nouba, and even Varekai. Nowadays many companies in Cirque's competitive landscape feature light, more natural makeup that emphasizes humanity over mystery. Compared to what you might see from Cirque Eloize or Les 7 doigts de la main, for instance, CdS is still downright extreme. You bring up Luzia, and that's a perfect example of why that show's comparatively demure makeup makes sense: the show takes place in a real place (or rather an interpretation/enhancement/vision of a real place) and 90% of its characters are undisputably human. Amaluna is similar in that regard. I haven't seen Volta live yet so I don't have too many thoughts, but I'd expect it's the same. We're not looking at birds angels or elements or spermatites, we're looking mostly at people. 

I don't necessarily agree with what you're saying about costumes either, but that's because the more spandex-y ones we've seen lately have been pretty great imo. Do you think Kurios' costumes were a disappointment, for instance? I'm interested to hear more examples so I can get a better sense of what you mean.

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I hate most of the Volta costumes, and the makeup is just weird (paticularly with reference to the dotty, blotchy, rash-like makeup of the free spirits).

Totem pulled off the spandex because it was just a spandex base with elaborate designs, textures and layers beyond just a print on design. It bothers me when they its just straight up spandex (eg KA battle scene guys, OVO spider, blue tassle Dralion chair balancing costume, Kooza aerial hoop etc.) Im not sure about it being an issue with new shows. For me, it's more a case by case scenario applicable to all their shows regardless of when it was made.

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I'd say the make up has actually gotten much more sophisticated. If you look at the earlier years of say Alegria, it literally looks like the artistis just rubbed crayon on their faces. Luzia's make up is beautiful to me, I like the uniformity of the blue eye mask for everyone yet many are individualized also. Volta's is a bit underwhelming but they are all playing 'human' characters so I don't expect it to be that whimsical. Thomas Hubner's videoabout his make up explained they were all meant to look a little sun burnt like they were backpacker/surfer types who send life outside.

Zaldy who did costumes for Volta and the two MJ shows has a very specific 'concert superstar' style. His strength is doing individual costumes for solo performers like Hair Hanging in Volta or Aerial Straps, Pole Dance and Contortion in Immortal are always just gorgeous. He has a huge body of work for Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Ru Paul, GaGa, etc. I think things get a little blurrier when he's doing large groups of characters.

Kurios's costumes and make up I guess everyone has forgotten?

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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I'd say my biggest pet peeve is when you have male characters that are supposed to be shirtless but they havon a flesh colored spandex with muscles painted on it. Like.. what's the point of that?! You already have some real muscles underneath there why put some fake unconvincing ones over it?

I actually like the Volta costumes, I think they look cool. My only complaint is that I feel like in thecase of the free spirits they don't really portray any character. And ironically I feel they all look the same and blend together even thought its a show about celebrating individuality. I'd say the only show where the costumes have fallen completely flat for me is Amaluna. Those have to be the most boring and uninspired costumes ever and I don't udnerstand why they're aiming for subtlety. Aren't they supposed to be Godesses? So why go for something subtle?

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Idk why no one has mentioned Luzia's costumes yet. Christ, those have to be the most GORGEOUS costumes I've ever seen! I was truly gobsmacked when I saw them live. I mean, how can you not be in love with the cyr wheel dresses: http://www.richasi.com/Cirque/Luzia/full/act04-5.jpg