ARRABAL, THE MUSICAL
Working with Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolalla and celebrated Broadway choreographer Sergio Trujillo in their new show wasn't easy.
The new show was based on Gustavo's music and talked about a love story during an era of dictatorial oppression in South America. It was a pretty complex story to be told only through dance (no talking, no singing), but that was what they wanted. The story was told backwards and forwards in time, with multiple characters appearing in different moments of their lives in both real and imaginary scenes. On top of the complexity of dancing costume design, we had a problem with communication: how to visually indicate when characters were in the past and when they were in the present.
Put in charge of costume design, we proposed grayscale costumes for characters in the past and color costumes for characters in the present. This very tv-cinema pop culture logic (that is, if it’s in b&w it must be from the past) was extremely effective when applied to the theatre. With the help of the lighting team to enhance the contrast of b&w moments, the costume design was an effective and simple way to illustrate the story without overpowering the choreography or music of the show.