#9: Sydney Dance Company and Akira Isogawa (1998)


4 April 2019

1998 saw Graeme Murphy collaborate with fashion designer Akira Isogawa for the first time, sparking a long collaborative partnership that has resulted in some of the most beautiful costumes ever created for dance. The work was Salome, an intense and intoxicating retelling of the biblical story.

Company dancers Tracey Carrodus & Josef Brown in Salome, 1998. Photo by Jeff Busby.

Akira Isogawa, Graeme Murphy and Gerard Manion.

Akira’s costumes were the perfect complement to Murphy’s sinuous choreography: sometimes they revealed the body, sometimes they exaggerated it, and sometimes they floated behind the movements like a vapour trail.

Behind the scenes with Akira Isogawa and dancer Wakako Asano.

Bradley Chatfield and Chylie Cooper in Ellipse, 2002. Photo by Jeff Busby.

“Akira freed me up really,” Graeme said at the time. “Suddenly the world of imagination and fabric opened to us.” Akira called Graeme “an inspirational being”.

Andrea Briody, Katie Ripley and Kath Arnold wearing Akira Isogawa designs. Photo by Jeff Busby.

Salome premiered at the Art Centre in Melbourne before selling out two Sydney seasons at the Sydney Opera House and touring the US, Mexico, China and New Zealand.

Akira would go on to create costumes for Sydney Dance Company’s Air & Other Invisible Forces, Ellipse, and Grand.

View a collection of Akira Isogawa’s designs at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, on now until 30 June 2019. More Info.

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