Creating the costumes for Eliza Cooper’s New Breed work


8 December 2023

We asked New Breed 2023 choreographer Eliza Cooper about the costume creation process for her new work Revenge Tales and Romance.

A bold genre piece which pays tribute to the iconic Spaghetti Westerns, don’t miss this bold work at Carriageworks until 16 December. Book now.

What was the inspiration behind your costumes for New Breed 2023?
Leotards! The most fabulous leotards of all time; looks from legendary female icons. From Tonya Harding, to Grace Jones, to Beyonce Knowles; we were inspired by power bodysuits. My New Breed work deals with the act of performance itself; the preparation, the work, the lie, the truth, the consequence; particularly for women. It is a study of archetype.

What has it been like collaborating with Costume Designer Aleisa Jelbart?
Collaborating with Aleisa has been a dream; we have similar tastes and a shared enthusiasm for retro fashion. She is a fantastic collaborator and a brilliant designer who perfects nuance and style.

How did you select the fabrics and how do the colours of the costumes impact the overall mood of the performance?
Selecting fabrics was a thrilling part of the process; we looked for textural fabrics that were adaptive under different lighting states. We searched for two essential qualities. Firstly, the potential to be flashy, to be almost garish under bright lights. We wanted to celebrate the aesthetics of athletics and to make a nostalgic nod to the leotards of gymnasts, figure skaters and jazz dancers. Secondly, the potential to transform under dimmer lights, to be moody and glamorous. To have the underground sparkle of a glam rock personality. We found the most perfect velvets and shimmer fabrics and selected a palette of bold colours.

What were the considerations to create visual harmony within the group while maintaining individuality?
We selected the colours personally for each dancer. All the costumes are unique, even for understudies.

New Breed is generously supported by The Balnaves Foundation.

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