The Impact of Costume on the Performing Body

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In this session, dance artist and lecturer Lorraine Smith will introduce the history of dance and costume in relation to the performing body, and contextualise these connections in reference to her own professional performance, choreographic work and research. References will include projects with London College of Fashion, Lorraine’s own work through her company (Silversmith Dance Theatre) and recent costume related performance projects at Teesside University, including the student costume based performance Abandonment. The session will particularly focus on performer embodiment and how costume, and more importantly specific design choices, can enhance and impede the performer’s engagement with the desired intent (i.e. character, image, etc.). It will also touch upon the layers of meaning costume adds to how both the performer and the audience experience and read a performance. Furthermore, the relationship between costume and performer and the role of ‘play’ will be explored. The session will engage participants in a deeper understanding of the impact of costume on the performer and the complex and interconnected relationship this creates, demonstrating that costume is not merely a ‘decorative’ addition to a performance, but an essential element for both performer and audience engagement in a ‘total theatre’ experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventCostume and Fashion in Context and Practice - Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Dec 20166 Dec 2016


ConferenceCostume and Fashion in Context and Practice
Abbreviated titleCFP
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Smith, L. L. (2016). The Impact of Costume on the Performing Body. Paper presented at Costume and Fashion in Context and Practice, Huddersfield, United Kingdom.