Rearview Friday: Costume Dolls

I was talking about dolls with a friend last night and my mind wandered in it’s dusty reaches to recall some of the dolls I’ve made in the past. I think it’s time to share these little ladies for today’s Rearview Friday!

I made them, wee versions of us, as a gift for my co-choreographer Lindsay Zier-Vogel on the premiere of our dance work Edith and Eliza in the spring of 2006. The dolls are based on Waldorf dolls (that’s right I was a Waldorf kid! And I have a deep sentimental fondness for these little dolls with the simple faces). If you want to know more about Waldorf dolls, I found a lovely how-to here by Amber Dusick, who also happens to be the brilliant lady behind Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. I am a big fan. You probably should be too.

Anyhoooo, back to the dolls: in addition to sort of looking like Lindsay and me, the dolls are dressed in tiny versions of costumes from 2 of our collaborative dance projects, seen in full size and context below. As you can see they each have an envelope. This is because part of our creative process for Edith and Eliza was to actually write and post letters to each other as “Edith” and “Eliza”, fictitious war brides we created to develop a story behind the dance. Some of the text from these letters was woven into the soundscore as a narration. Each letter snaps onto the dolls hand and actually has a wee letter in it. Because I am awesome. And obviously humble. But seriously, it was a really fulfilling creative process. The the doll making was a cherry-on-top project in the fun department.

The dances that the doll’s costumes were made to honour:

Susanne Chui and Jennifer Dallas in Whistling Matilda, a dance film by Rhys Brisbin, Susan Kendal and Lindsay Zier-Vogel, 2004. Photo: Linsday Zier-Vogel.

Susan Kendal in Edith and Eliza by Susan Kendal and Lindsay Zier-Vogel, 2006. Photo: Ted Zier-Vogel.

And lastly, our lovely selves with the dollies. Just before we went into the theatre for the premiere. Edith and Eliza and the costume dolls were the last major dance and crafty-sewing projects I worked on before becoming pregnant and a mommy. Feels like a lifetime ago, but not in a bad way. Just a “huh” way. Life was so utterly different then!

Susan Kendal and Lindsay Zier-Vogel outside the Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto. Showing off the costume dolls just before the premiere of our work Edith and Eliza, part of the Series 8:08 Season Finale, May 2006. Photo: Andrea Roberts.

Cheers to art, all kinds of it, making our lives so full. Happy Friday folks.

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One response to “Rearview Friday: Costume Dolls

  1. Pingback: Rearview Fridays: Juliet doll (best H.S. Eng. project ever) | Pocket Alchemy

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