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Life is a Dream - Contemporary Stage Adaptation


Re-designed Historical Adaptation 1870 

Year - 2020


Design and concept by me, as a part of year three at performance costume at ECA

Life is a dream is a Spanish play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, published in 1635, taking place in Poland. The main themes of the play is faith, loyalty and honour, and the confusion of what is real and what is a dream. For my first project I wanted to emphasize the blurred lines between dreaming and real life, I want to create an illusion, something a bit surrealistic. I chose to set it on the stage Seebühne at the Bregenzer Festispiel in Austria. The stage is built in the water in the lake Constance with moving and floating parts. I would use the water to help create illusions by making some parts of the scenography go down into the water, to create an imitation of the reflection but slightly raised or with other things slightly off. For the costumes I was going for modern textiles, shapes from contemporary fashion but with inspiration from historical silhouettes. The colours are mostly light blues, pink and red to contrast from the surroundings and the water. My main theme throughout the costumes is the face that is hidden more or less in the textiles in different ways. I want this to represent the haunting face of dreaming and it will be more apparent and clear in the costume that Segismundo wears when they are trying to convince him that he is dreaming. The textiles is mostly light and see-through, layered up with the embroidered face either on top or underneath. This is combined with some thicker fabrics like faux leather and suede to create contrast.

The second project is a re-design of my first project. It is set in 1870 and the colour palette is limited to only black and red. I wanted to bring in some of the textile experiments from the first project and put it in my 1870s designs. 

Rosaura 1870
Astolfo 1870
Textile sample 1870
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