Second Hand Dance – Getting Dressed

Second Hand Dance’s choreographer Rosie Heafford writes about the inspiration and development process for children’s show Getting Dressed, coming to the Lilian Baylis Studio 18 and 19 February. 

“Getting Dressed is a work that started from me watching other shows, well, the pre & post show. I watched the acrobatic sketches revealed when audiences were asked to take their shoes and socks off, and the meticulous ordering when school groups arranged taking their coats on and off.

It reminded me that when I was small I had to learn how to get dressed, that as an adult I take for granted this simple act of choosing and wearing clothes every day. Through these observations of others, I also noticed quite a few things that I thought would make a good show. So that was my starting point; how many ways are there to take clothes on and off?

This initial idea quickly developed, as ideas like these do. I was intrigued by fabric, worlds of textures and clothes; the sculptures of Derick Melander and countless other artist-designers; the sounds of zips and ripping fabrics; the gendering of clothes and how we present part of our identity through them; the world of children’s garments and the commercial split between girls (pink) and boys (blue); the online campaign of Let Clothes Be Clothes, and the multiple throwing, sliding, and jumping games that can be found with clothes.

Getting dressed by yourself is a huge milestone as a child; it shows independence, technical capability, maturity and the identity we choose to present to the wider world. Made for 4–7 year olds and their families Getting Dressed subtly challenges the conventions, peer pressures and popular culture influences children encounter when starting school. I would like to encourage everyone, big and small to be playful with the clothes they wear.

Getting Dressed is approximately 40 minutes long (no interval) and will be performed by 3 dancers. These live performers are gradually joined by a colourful array of clothes and fabrics that slowly fill the stage to create textured shapes and sculptures. The narrative will follow the dancers exploration of playing with different costumes and fabrics, changing what they wear multiple times, to an ending where the audience are invited to play with the clothes themselves and experiment with what they might like to wear.”

Find out more about Getting Dressed: sadlerswells.com/whats-on

Find out more about Let Clothes Be Clothes: letclothesbeclothes.uk