Infinity Wings is a wearable designed to capture the personality and accentuate the features of Tiffany Geigel, a dancer with Hiedi Latsky Dance company. Tiffany is a spicy, feisty, Latina woman who doesn’t hesitate to prove people wrong or speak her mind but is still a very easy-going, honest and relaxed person. She also has a rare bone disorder called Jarcho Levin Syndrome which causes a malformation in the back and/or the ribs. While this disability makes her shorter than the average person, it also makes her incredibly flexible.
Infinity Wings is a cape-like wearable, meant to symbolize abstract butterfly wings. The wings are shaped with verticle lemniscates that are made out of a polypropylene rope. During Tiffany’s interview, she mentioned that several positions that she does in On Display. Infinity Wings is optimized for when Tiffany is standing with her arms hugging her chest, in terms of this project, this is called cocoon position. The second position is when she has her arms extended in a T pose. Tiffany may also choose to let go of the grip loops and let it hang at her waist and/or upper chest so she has the freedom for positions that may have been restricted by her wearing the piece.
Infinity Wings is a wearable designed for Tiffany Geigel, a dancer with the Heidi Latsky Dance Company, to wear for the On Display performance. The On Display performance is a deconstructed art exhibit/fashion show that highlights society’s fixation with body image. The performers are a group of people with atypical bodies who pose as sculptures in a sculpture court. Tiffany loves the spotlight when she is dancing; she describes herself as outgoing, honest, and feisty, and takes pride in shocking people and proving them wrong. She has Jarcho-Levin Syndrome, which is a rare disorder where the ribs and/or back are malformed. This condition makes Tiffany’s torso unusually short, but also makes her more flexible than most people, enabling her to move her body in a unique and fluid way. The aim of the Infinity Wings is to accentuate Tiffany’s features and voice her message. By making the design transform from a simple and inconspicuous cocoon to a magnificent abstract butterfly, it reflects the stigma towards people with disabilities and how that stigma isn’t accurate.
The Infinity Wings is a wing-like wearable made of white rope looped into interconnected infinity loops that the dancer can manipulate. To make the piece more secure, a 3D-printed cap holds in place the sections, where the symbols intertwine. The piece narrows downwards, following the contour of the body. This design will not only accentuate Tiffany’s features and voice her message it will also enhance the performance. The Performance provides a way for disabled people to show their talents, creativity, and independence and also challenges the general public’s preconceived notions about the abilities and movements of atypical bodies.
Shift is a wearable designed for Leslie Taub, a performer for Heidi Latsky Dance company, to express the way her past of body modification has shaped how she sees herself.
Shift is a piece made to be worn in the sculpture court performance On Display, a sculpture-court-style art piece that features dancers with and without disabilities, with the goal of resetting aesthetic values, and letting viewers become familiar with vastly different bodies through visual exploration. The piece designed for Leslie Taub, a model and dancer who has burns on 70% of her skin, and fingers that have each been amputated at the PIP joint. The piece consists of a series of cuffs fitted to various parts of the body with flowing translucent fabric between them.
Between the ages of 2 and 14, some of the most formative years of any person's life, Leslie had 68 surgeries on her hands and face. Because of this, her self image isn't as static as the average person's, but instead is based on constant revision. To model this self-construction, the cuffs on Leslie's body can be moved from body part to body part, changing the composition of the piece. The translucence of the fabric and the way it layers and obscures speaks to the blurriness and lack of clarity of Leslie's idea of her own face. The cuffs are made of laser-cut milky acrylic that has been formed to fit the body using a heat gun. Small slits in the cuffs allow the fabric to "weave" into them, giving a smooth transition from the hardness of the acrylic to the soft flow of the fabric. The fabric itself has thin seams sewn along the length to give structure.
When Leslie wears the piece as she performs, she "revises" the way the piece is worn and takes control of her immediate physical self.
Desmond is a very tall and broad dancer with the Heidi Latsky Dance company who had a tumor in his brain that caused him to lose most of his muscle tone on his left side, as a result, the left side of his body has fewer muscles than the right. HoneyComb is a wearable that uses asymmetry to attract attention to Desmond’s hidden disability on his left side.
HoneyCombs consist of SemiCirel Mylar sheets stacked on top of each other in an alternating pattern connected by acrylic rods and screws. This creates semicircle that someone can open and turn into a 3-d sphere with a honeycomb-like pattern on the inside. It attached to the shoulder, elbow, and hip - knee joints only on Desmond’s left side. This will draw viewers attention to his hidden disability on his left side, while Desmond is performing.
The Blueberry Plant Tutu: A tutu growing blueberry branches from its center, bringing together a modern dancer named Louisa's youthful passion for ballet and her strong roots in her home on a Vermont blueberry farm. The Sugar Plum Fairy-inspired frame supports stalks of the blueberry plant extruding from the waistline, a connected inner elastic belt allowing the user freedom of motion.
In a society where people often feel the need to conform, a striking individual like Louisa Mariem stands out. Louisa is an expressive, goal-driven, forward-thinking, and insightful dancer for Heidi Latsky Dance, born and raised on a Vermont blueberry farm with her family. To this day, the blueberry branch is a symbol to Louisa of her strength, grounding her in her identity, so much so that she has one tattooed on her upper arm. Brought up as a professional ballet dancer from a very young age, Louisa fell in love with the art and techniques of ballet, and dreamed to one day play the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. However, as Louisa explored other physical creative outlets, she realized that modern dancing was a much better fit for her innovative, though ballet-inspired, ideas. Now, Louisa shares herself confidently with the world as a part of Heidi Latsky’s On Display performances, challenging assumptions of what dance is “supposed to” look like and advocating for making dance accessible to all ranges of ability.
Our goal was to showcase Louisa’s strong and loving roots at her home in the Vermont blueberry farm that shaped her, while also demonstrating how her childhood passions developed over time into a unique expression of her personality. By displaying Louisa’s supported individuality while also showcasing the love that got her there, the Blueberry Plant Tutu captures Louisa’s identity as a person and dancer. The costume is built from a white, contemporary-style ballet tutu frame, adorned with white branches, blueberry plant leaves, and 3D-printed blueberries spreading out from the center. White elastic grips the waist, while additional white elastic attached from the waist band to the inner hoop allows for great support, and a great range of motion! Pairing classical and modern, as well as natural and urban styles, the Blueberry Plant Tutu captures Louisa's spectacular journey.
Louisa is a former ballet dancer who grew up on a blueberry farm in Vermont who currently dances for Heidi Ladsky Dance, a dancing group that breaks down the barrier between those who are disabled and those who are able-bodied. When Louisa was still doing ballet, she found that it was not expressive enough and did not allow her to show her full personality. The Blueberry Plant Tutu allows her to express herself and have a meaningful connection with her outfit. The Tutu is made of a frame with blueberry branches growing up and out from the center. The spiderweb style of the frame allows the blueberry plant to grow freely with lots of support. The tutu is connected to the body with an adjustable elastic waistband. The tutu frame is pulled up over the user’s legs and hips and is connected to the smallest point of the waist with an adjustable elastic band, making for a comfortable wearing experience.
Louisa has tattoos of very meaningful things in her life, like a blueberry branch on her arm. Tattoos are against the traditional "rules" of ballet wear, but ever since Louisa was young, she has been breaking these rules in favor of self-expression. Ballet was a big inspiration for Louisa when growing up, especially the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker. The inspiration for the pattern of the Blueberry Plant Tutu comes from the design worn by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
A belt designed for a dancer that uses the symbolism of roots to show the symbiotic relationship between Peter and his wheelchair. Rope designed to look like roots runs up and down his legs and attaches to his wheelchair in the back. This project is for Peter, a dancer at the Heidi Latsky dance company. Peter has cerebral palsy which forces him to use a wheelchair while dancing. Peter has a love for the environment which is why the design uses roots to connect him and his wheelchair. He is very open about his disability and is quite outgoing. We used this information and decided to make a piece that doesn't hide his disability, but actually draws attention to it. Peters Roots help Peter show that the wheelchair is not an impairment but an essential part of who he is. This project allows Peter to express himself and how he feels about his wheelchair without saying a word. On Display, the performance that this piece was created for, addresses the issue of how people with disabilities are viewed by society. This project addresses the idea that you shouldn't look away from those with disabilities, but rather appreciate the full person. Peters Roots is a belt with frayed rope that evokes the look and feel of roots. From the belt, the rope runs down Peter's legs and connects to the back of the wheelchair. Peter just has to slip the belt and leg piece onto his waist to wear it for the On Display performance.
The dancer that inspired this project is Peter, a dancer in Heidi Latsky's dance company. Heidi's company focuses on inclusion of all bodies. Peter has cerebral palsy, which has restricted the use of his legs. Peter's cerebral palsy hasn't affected the design because Peter likes to be seen as more than just his disability. Peter would like to work with the environment, and majored in environmental studies in college. This inspired the design to have kind of a natural feel. Peter uses a wheelchair that he calls Timothy. Peter stated once in an interview that he sees Timothy as a dance partner when he is dancing. Hopefully, the project helps Peter express himself and his relationship with Timothy. The main inspiration for the design is Peter's connection with his wheelchair. The roots in the design illustrates the living connection between Peter and Timothy. On Display, the art installation that this project is for, engages the issue of how people with disabilities are viewed in our society. This project explores the way people view disabled people's use of devices. We want people to see a wheelchair not as a symbol of disability, but as a symbol of enabling.
Our project, The Evening Star is a sleeveless blouse designed for Amy Meisner, a dancer for Heidi Latsky Dance Company who has been dancing with them for 3 years. The top is to represent the story of her persistence in the face of multiple sclerosis. Amy has been dealing with the symptoms of MS for 20 years, and she has recently gotten back into dancing after quitting dance after her diagnosis with MS. The top has created an X pattern across the upper half of her chest. On the garment, there will be different sets of connected triangles that are connected varying in size as they are running from the left shoulder to the right lower side of her body.
The triangles on the top will vary in size as they go down the body and they represent a chain link fence, which was a prominent symbol of the transition in her Amy's life when she was developing the symptoms of MS. The fence was always something she saw every day walking up a hill when she was doing social work. As her MS progressed, she had to start clinging to that the fence to reach her destination get where she was trying to go. By incorporating the fence symbolically in its design, we want the audience to feel her individuality fully expressed in what she is wearing on stage so that it elevates her performance. We decided to draw our project design from that fence to really relate to Amy and can connect a big part of her life for this wearable. As for the blouse design we wanted to create something that would be comfortable for her to perform in and It was designed for comfort and to also allow maximum flexibility so she could move freely in her performance our wearable. We hope the wearable that my group will create for Amy to perform in will elevate her performance in the best way possible.
Amy Mesiner had done ballet since she was very young, but switched to modern dance when she was told she did not have the right body for ballet. The last dance she auditioned for was Aphrodite. She later became an actress, but switched to being a social worker because she did not feel fully fulfilled previously. She had a specific memory, during her time as a social worker, that perfectly visualized these barriers that have otherwise been invisible. Amy had a client who lived on a hill, with chain link fence leading up to it. Every day it would get harder to walk up this hill, and every day she would cling more to the side of the fence for support, until eventually she could barely make it an inch without falling. This is when she got diagnosed with Chronic Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Eventually she joined Heidi Latsky Dance Company after some initial reluctance, and the barriers she was putting up came down when she finally reconnected to her art.
Evening Star is comprised of a Grecian sheer sleeveless fabric blouse with a triangular acrylic deteriorating chainmail panel that drapes over Amy's left side. The silhouette and triangles are references to Aphrodite. The chainmail is an abstraction of the fence that deteriorates over time showing Amy opening up and overcoming her barriers.