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Charlotte Østergaard: AweAre. Photo Henning Sjøstrøm, Dance Photography
Charlotte Østergaard: AweAre. Photo Henning Sjøstrøm, Dance Photography

Critical Costume: Panel Discussions

In August 2020, Costume Agency hosted the conference Critical Costume 2020 Conference and Exhibition. Due to the pandemic, some activity had to be postponed. Now the last activity, three panel discussions dedicated questions related to costume design, will be held online in august.

Critical Costume 2020 Panel Discussion # 1 (Monday August 16th 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm)
Costume Performance: What costume does?

Moderator Sodja Lotker

In this panel we will talk about different ways the costume performs, how it sparks imagination, triggers references, but also how it moves the performers and initiates action. From cultural-identity reference to functional potential of the garment and to sensual experience of the material costume is part of the complex relationships on stage. Some of the relationships are semiotic, some compositional, some phenomenological but most of them are so entangled with each other that it's hard to pin them down.

Together with the invited speakers – a choreographer, a designer, and a theorist, Sally Dean, Linnea Bagander, and Donatella Barbieri – we will look at these relationships and explore specific ways costume performs.

Critical Costume 2020 Panel Discussion # 2 (Monday August 23rd 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm)
Costume futures: Designing new materialities

Moderator Rachel Hann

This panel will discuss the role of costume in investigating (re)newed bodily materialities in an era of climate crisis, bio-technologies and theories of new materialism. In particular, the panel will share examples from their practice that explore the role of material in thinking though ideas of ‘body’ and the changing perspective on what costume offers as a field of study to interdisciplinary questions of appearance, embodiment, and human-technology interfaces.

Together with our invited speakers - Charlotte Østergaard and Tanja Beer – we will share provocations on the future interrelationship between body, material and costume practice.

Critical Costume 2020 Panel Discussion # 3 (Saturday August 28th 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm)
Costume Performance: Unfolding a vision embedded in a garment

Moderator Christina Lindgren

This panel discussion will focus on costume as a starting point for a creative process towards a performance. The starting point is crucial for the development of any performance, as it sets the premises and the focus for the collaborative work. Costume is an untraditional initial material for a performance. If costume is present as the main element from the start, how does that set the premises for creative process? What are the approaches, methods, and tools to unpack the potential embedded in the garments? How to compose with all expressions as light, sound, spoken words, movement, and space when costume is the first element?
Together with the invited speakers - three designers generating various forms of performative art, Fruszina Nagy, Fredrik Floen and Signe Becker, – we will explore and discuss approaches to the process taking costume as starting point.

If you would like to attend:
please send an email to: and we will send you the links. We hope to see you there!

The panel discussions will be recorded and published after the event (here and on our Youtube-channel

For more information about Critical Costume 220 Confernece and Exhibtion, please visit

For more information about Costume Agency artistic research project, please visit