The filmed performance allows the gowns to evolve through dance. Rad Hourani applies principles of architecture in designing his patterns and works from the visceral premise of how the clothing will move. Therefore, UC20 ensembles were crafted with movement in mind, their transformative nature fully showcased through choreography. The ritualistic implications of dance and its tribal roots allow for the body to be liberated from any constraints of dress and culture. As such, panels open up to allow the dancers’ legs to spread, arms to raise in commanding gestures, moving up and down, in and out. While ceremonial togas and robes often restrict the wearer’s movement, the pieces, coming alive, represent a liberated way to live and allow the wearer to feel as though they are their own ruler.

 

 

 

 

Through ritualistic expression, dance allows for energy to manifest in the performer, and for them to embody this energy. The hands move simply and steadily through forms that are boundless in their meaning yet suggest a fixed symbolism through their aesthetic and delivery. We leave the interpretation of these non-conventionalized and non-culture-specific gestures up to the viewer to manifest both individualistic thought and the realization of the power of personal expression beyond formal ritual. As the choreography progresses, we begin to notice the dancers’ controlled, stiff behavior loosen, creating a narrative of evolution and liberation. As the dancers’ energy flows through each other, their authority fades, nobility transforms into union of knowledge, hinting towards a more humanitarian ideal.

 

2:25 MIN