Sunday, May 09, 2010

Set and Costume Design for "Peter and Blue's Forest Adventure"

I have been wanting to blog this for a long time, but due to confidentiality reasons, I couldn't do so until today. So here goes...

Months back I took part in a competition by Singapore Dance Theatre to design for their upcoming ballet "Peter and Blue's Forest Adventure". As encouraged by my programme coordinator, I took part, and being "greedy", I took part not only in the set design category, I also attempted on costume as well, despite this subject is not being taught at all in school. Well, I don't know if I'm sheer lucky or not, but both my set and costume concepts were selected, and suddenly I became a set and costume designer for a professional production.

"Peter and Blue's Forest Adventure" is a new piece of ballet targeted at young children. It tells the story of Peter, a young boy, who went into the forest with his dog Blue and cat Calico to find fruits and flowers as a birthday present for his mother, and along the way he encountered numerous supernatural characters that offered their help. Hence in essence, this is a fairytale kind of ballet with a simple plot and many fanciful characters.

To cut short on all the theories of how I came up with my design concept, my design of the set is based on Art Nouveau. Of course I couldn't use a truly Art Nouveau kind of design for the stage, for it will be too intricate for small children to appreciate. Therefore, I went through several rounds of modification and simplification until what it is now. As for costumes, they generally follow the same Art Nouveau style as well, but fused with some elements of the 60s/ 70s "Flower Power" fashion and contemporary clothing, in order to give them a more brilliant and stylish look in which young children can better connect with. I'm not sure how the audience in general react to my set and costumes, but I'm glad enough that the choreographer, my programme leader and programme coordinator are very pleased with my work, especially this being my debut professional design work.

"Peter and Blue's Forest Adventure" closed yesterday afternoon after 2 previews and 6 performances. Now that the show has closed, I sort of started to miss it already. It's really a nice experience working with the company, and hopefully I have the chance to work with them in future.