Being born and raised in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, I have always been inspired by the colourful and extravagant dance costumes worn in performances. The collaboration of colour and movement is awe inspiring, which lead me to create “Firedancer 3.0”.
The particular part of the costume I chose was the ‘titi’, a traditional grass skirt or hip belt, worn by the women of the Cook Islands. It emphasises the swing of the hips as they sway side to side as it is quite large in size and the materials create a fluid, sensuous movement. The incorporation of the LEDs enriches the costume with its flashing colours that change depending on movement. They help accentuate the fast, fierce and fiery quality of the dance, it also means that the costume is illuminated in the darkness and creates a new dynamic to dancing.
I have tried to incorporate aspects of the Cook Island culture into my design work for a while, and I can safely say this has been the most successful. I feel this work could create some form of disagreement, an insult to the culture, but at the same time it could give a new insight to performances in the future. I hope “Firedancer 3.0” has a positive effect on the people of the Cook Islands.