Asleep at the stitch: Rumsey (center) & co.
photo: London Teeling

Glen Rumsey's ignored in my heaven is the dance component of Open Stitch, a project in which 15 cutting-edge designers have fashioned outlandish and beautiful wearable art under severe constraints of time, tools, and materials. The results are on view in their communal workroom, a cross between atelier and cut-and-stitch maelstrom that abuts the performing space. The so-called dance, purportedly based on the choreographer's dreams and travel journals, is itself largely about costume taken to extremes. Rhythm, impetus, structure in time, and meaningful stage patterning—the customary essentials of dance—get only cursory attention. The dancers, a number of whom are, like Rumsey, Merce Cunningham veterans and therefore highly skilled practitioners of their art, serve as mere mannequins for ravishing, bizarre outfits featuring transparent plastics, floating gauze, crimson in a dozen dramatic guises, and pearly balloons. These designs, by Rumsey and David Quinn, create a world of surreal eroticism sufficient unto itself.

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