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NUTCRACKER COSTUME ESSAY
Nutcracker directed by Matthew Bourne involves characteristic and stylish costumes
throughout the narrative production performed in a proscenium stage. From grey smocks
and shorts in the dull and cold orphanage scene, to all white ice skating attire, the costumes
enhance every moment of the story.
At the beginning of the performance, we are introduced with the rundown orphanage.
Costumes used in this scene consist of dull uniformed like clothing such as; grey dress and
trousers for boys. Dull colours portray to the audience the sad orphans who share no
feelings. Costumes indicate a poor background and that everyone is treated equal within
the orphanage. In contrast to this, sweetie land shows off the colourful and playful
costumes, giving off an energetic mood and atmosphere within the movement. Unlike the
orphanage scene, the costumes are very important in sweetie land as show visual identity
to which sweet they are and their characteristics. The colour change in costume shows a
contrast between the orphanage and contrasting world of the sweetie land. Humbug
bouncer wears black and white striped material shaped as a humbug.
The three flamenco- dancing allsorts appear on stage in vibrant, patterned colours, with a
Spanish feel to the costume. The two costume designs separates the genders in the trio
dance, this is done by the female wearing a big Spanish skirt, which is adapted into the
movement of dance. Whereas the men wear tight trousers and jackets. The allsorts are
abnormally cheesy trio with a dance to match their bright costumes, slicked down hair and
pencil moustaches. The costume links into the cultural reference of the dance style which is
Spanish in this case, reinforcing the music used for this trio.
Costumes becomes a feature of movement and the choreography, this is evident when
Clara appears in her blue dress as movement in the skirt is used. Another moment where
the costume becomes a feature of the movement is in the frozen lake scene. Ice skaters
use their skirts to show they are skating in the wind; this portrays a childlike mood and
atmosphere as the dancers all show excitement in playing in the snow.