Edward II notes
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Music John McCabe
Choreographer David Bintley
Design Peter J. Davidson
Costume Jasper Conran
Lighting Peter Mumford
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Jasper Conran's costumes
'I went to him and asked him to reinvent the tutu for me', says David Bintley of his first collabration with Jasper Conran, a short one-act ballet called Tombeaux. 'He did, and it was very modern and very simple and very beautiful. When I did Edward II, I knew I wanted something very modern again, and so went straight back to Jasper.'
Speaking at the time of the first UK performances of the ballet, Jasper Conran said: 'When I am given a storyline to work from, I read it again and again, and I work out the colour from one scene to another. This is probably the most difficult thing to do in a theatre piece for me, because if somebody goes out of a scene and another person comes in - especially with dance where it has to look good - you can't just put another random colour in there; you have to keep an even flow.'
The visual spectacle of the piece was one that was very important to David. 'The story of Edward of course is very dark', he said, 'but I don't think that necessarily precludes it from being rather beautiful and glamorous. The Barons, for instance, are dressed entirely in leather and studs and thigh-length boots and long, long black greasy hair and they look great. They manage to look at one and the same time both menacing and attractive, I think.
As well as the look of the designs, the practicalities of producing costumes for ballet were another consideration. 'There are lots of types of costume that are hard to do', explains the designer, 'because fitting arms for instance, that articulate and work whatever the dance, is very difficult. The Barons I suppose were the most difficult - they are articulated leather as they really have to move well. They have to look really strong and heavy.' When asked about the contrast between creating for fashion and for the stage, he summed it up simply: 'With fashion, I'm talking about the here and now. With costume I'm telling a story with clothes, so there is a fundamental difference.'
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