The choosing of costumes plays an important part on the production of a dance show. Over the years, I have noticed a few styles of costumes that I used the most. I am sharing with you my thoughts about those styles:
Most metallic clothing is being worn only on stage because they are very eye-catching. Metallic costumes work well in strong lights, especially spotlights. I once worn a golden leotard on stage in the spotlight, and it lit up the room as I moved. Another time I had on a costume with sequins on it, and it left dotted marks of light on stage. Alternatively, white costumes give a little reflection as dancers move as well. I did a dance with Chinese watersleeve made of white silk, and it created a water-like image on the background when I made turns in the spotlight. However, the reflection was bright spots rather than strong blinding shines which could be achieved using metallic materials.
(<- me in white watersleeve)
Sheer costumes look the best in silhouette. They are my favourite, because they are the most comfortable for on stage. Many of my friends prefer cotton. I like wearing cotton in everyday life as well, but it feels too casual, heavy, warm and uneasy to slip on in performances. Sheer fabrics give certain coverage to my body but do not get in the way of my motion. Moreover, it flows in the air beautifully when I move.The tutus in the Romantic era most likely used sheer materials for the same reasons. I usually leave on nude sheer stockings for the whole show because they make costume changes easier, especially if I am sweaty from the performances. The only down side is that they need to be hanged and folded well, or else they will get kink marks.
I personally like sparkly costumes just to add a little spark to the otherwise bland costumes. They are trendy in the performance art world in both costumes and in cosmetics because they catch the light well. They look good when seen on stage, but the shimmer does not usually register on camera. Sparkly costumes are also tough to handle backstage. Most of the time sparkles get all over. One time I was supposed to do a dance with a sparkling silver jazz hat, but there were so many sparkles getting into my eyes, hair and hands that we had to switch to a plain hat. I suggest that if sparkling costumes are being used, buy the ones with good quality so the sparkles do not fall off too much.
Onezies are usually used in group pieces when the dancers have uniform roles. They make interesting costume choices if designed well, and they are a lot easier to handle backstage. They can easily be layered on dance costumes of other pieces for quick costume changes. However, some people may find it uncomfortable, especially if it is not made in the right height. I once tried to do a dance with full body leotard, but it was pressing on my head too hard that I had to cut out the head part. The good thing is that it can easily be tailored if you really want the look.