Never one to let things get predictable for too long, Portland designer Adam Arnold's spring show this year will be, in effect, his collaboration with the Oregon Ballet Theater. The piece is a world premiere from Canadian choreographer Matjash Mrozewski called Chromatic Quartet, set to music by Owen Belton (who also created music for WhiteBird’s recent Kidd Pivot show).
"I am approaching this collaboration by thinking of the dancers as people that have unique clothing needs, rather than making finished costumes that need to be altered to fit the situation," Arnold said in a statement published on the OBT blog. "To start this process, I asked to have dancers in my sample garments as they do what they do best, move. By having them dance in my samples in the studio, I can see where a garment experiences stress, and approach it as a design problem that needs to be solved. I was hoping for torn armpits, and ripped and blasted inseams, but was pleasantly surprised to find that my samples held up pretty well on their first try... Reintroducing seam lines and adjusting the grainline to meet their needs is where I get excited about the challenges that movement poses to design. As well as fit, I am concerned with fabric and, being a lover of natural fibers as well as a bit of a bit of a purist, have made an oath to myself to do this project with as much natural fiber as possible."
Chromatic Quartet runs April 19-28 at the Newmark, so Arnold devotees should prepare themselves for a night at the ballet to see the latest of what he's been working on.