Tuesday, March 6, 2007

my own little wrestling match

I was working all weekend on a video (a 30-second video about love)... I made myself a wrestling costume and tackled a bunch of people in my studio; thought I'd share a couple images here.

One incidental note from the experience of inhabiting a wrestling character and choreographing falls-- I think the costuming is really important in character development, both for the aesthetic development of the wrestling format on a whole and for the individual wrestler. When I designed my costume, I felt I could take expressive liberties that I wouldn't normally take in clothing design (I make a lot of costumes, but usually try to engage with a 'sophisticated aesthetic' or at least a restrained color palette). With my wrestling costume, I designed it for athletic optimism, but felt at liberty to go way over the top with the color and lightning bolts down the side. When I wrestled, I felt like the costume was keeping me in check with my wrestling persona (a function costumes often serve).

When we watched the alley fight and the wrestlers were wearing 'street clothes'- jeans and a t-shirt with a belt- it changed the way they wrestled, or at least contributed the change on tone from athletic wrestling to the streetfight style. This was not just because of the belt being used to choke the other guy, but also because the different costumes changed the way the wrestlers moved, and gave them a different version of their character to play.


luistenorio said...

I have never really thought of costumes as being that important unless it was essential to the character. I do notice that wrestlers sometimes use it to indicate a change in their character, but the costume does not drive the character itself, at least not for the more higher card wrestlers. It can show off their character but I think it is a problem when it is their character. Wrestlers like Hulk Hogan could make the costume work for them, like ripping off the shirt but Hulk Hogan is still Hulk Hogan when the shirt is off. A costume would make me feel like the character though. And that is what it must be like for the wrestlers when they get into the moment.

X P said...

I think that's cool that you started wrestling. Ever since my friends and I started taking this class, we would wrestle jsut for fun in the halls. We would always end up with small cuts and bruises al over our bodies. Well actually maybe mostly me since I seem to bruise easily.
I started realizing how hard it is to pull off some moves if the other person is moving alot. The power bomb seems like a fun move to do, I really want to do it, but power slamming one of my friends in the hall wouldn't be too healthy.
As for the costume, I agree that it could give u persona when you wrestle. I expect it would be somewhat the same feeling of when you dress up for halloween. Well at least when I was little, I would pretend I was the thing I was dressing up to be and it made me feel like a different person. I think it would be cool to make up my own wrestling costume. Kind of curious what it would come out to look like.

Sam Ford said...

Chris, if I cause someone to get sent to MIT Medical for teaching this class, I'll never hear the end of it.

As for your points, Kate, I think you are right in how the costumes change the ways these wrestlers move and how these matches are put together. As you point out, the Street Fight involves a change in outfit to indicate a change in mode for the performance. When people show up in their jeans, it means you can expect a very different match.