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New Zealand Theater Company Constructs Artistic Spectacles On Moving Bodies

If you’re fascinated with Nick Cave’s famous Soundsuit sculptures, which marry music, modern dance and costume design, then you’ll probably enjoy the performances of New Zealand theater company WOW (World of WearableArt). Since 1987 they’ve been blending the realms of art and fashion through performance, putting on fantastic shows (annually in September) with flamboyant and intricate costumes from an endless range of aesthetic influences.

WOW was born out of a gallery event proposal founder Suzie Moncrieff wrote in the 80s. In the interest of overturning the assumption that artworks should be hung on a wall or presented on a pedestal, Moncrieff decided to display them on human bodies, borrowing much from theater and stage design to consider choreography and motion, highlighting movement and sculptural forms in the materials.

As technology evolves and new materials are developed, WOW continues to encourage new exploration and experimentation in the fields of illumination, sound and fantasy, pushing the limits of imagination further with its avant-garde vision. It’s no wonder WOW’s surreal costume design and original concept has been described as, “Mardi Gras meets haute couture at a Peter Gabriel concert directed by Salvador Dali.”

The Wellington-based event, focused on supporting and discovering young talent, is currently accepting applications for 2012. Find more information here.

For the first time, WOW is going on the road and taking part in this year’s Hong Kong Art Festival from January 29-February 5th. Click here for details.

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