Evoking Shapes, Textures and Feelings
December 10, 2013 by Anabella Lenzu
A peek behind the curtain of Pachamama… Jennifer Johanos, costume designer, talks about creating the mask and costumes.
“This has been an interesting challenge for me; I had seen Pachamama in process last spring and was fascinated by the source material (as well as being impressed by the choreography and the articulate ability and commitment of the dancers). I really liked the visual look of the piece, too, although it was clear that the fabrics being used as masks at that time did not allow for enough character delineation and, perhaps more, importantly, were making it difficult for the dancers to see and breathe.
So, the problem all along has been to try to create the sheer number of masks needed, in a way to evoke something of the shapes, textures and feel of the indigenous originals, but in light weight materials that would somehow allow for vision and breath (and with adaptations to allow for the movement). Add to this (and, of course, on a small budget) that things must go on quickly and easily in front of the audience, remain secure and then come off only when you want them to, survive rehearsals, performances and storage, and you have a few technical challenges!” Jennifer
JENNIFER JOHANOS has designed for many independent choreographers, most recently, Barbara Mahler and Katherine Howard. She worked with DJ McDonald as both performer and designer, with productions in many venues. She has worked as a director on projects small and large, as an actress many companies; and her work in theater crafts and costume construction has appeared On and Off- Broadway ,and in the productions of major opera, dance and theater companies.