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Dion Lee Designs for the Sydney Dance Company

Lee designed three different stories for 17 dancers to perform in.

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DANCE TURN: Dion Lee can now add the title costume designer to his repertoire. While finalizing both his International Woolmark Prize collection for the competition’s grand final, which was staged in London over the weekend, and his fall collection, the rising Sydney design star was also working on a set of costumes for a new Sydney Dance Company work called “Emergence.” Part of the SDC’s new season De Novo, which has its world premiere at the Sydney Theatre in Walsh Bay on March 1, “Emergence” is a collaboration between the company’s artistic director Rafael Bonachela, singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko and composer Nick Wales. Lee designed three different stories for 17 dancers to perform in, deploying sport fabrications such as a heavy black neoprene-look bonded jersey in a series of sculptural bodysuits and shorts with reflective 3M rubber prints; and a sheer sport mesh, used in voluminous, asymmetric baby doll tunics with black contrast banding. He also managed to inject his signature deconstructed tailoring via some intriguing bifurcated tuxedos that are attached to nude unitards. “It’s splitting a tailored jacket in half and watching two dancers interplay as two halves of the whole — half of the dancers in one structure and the others in a mirrored version” said Lee. “It was all based around the concept of emergence and patterns forming in nature. Obviously movement is the biggest part of the process.” Lee is the Sydney Dance Company’s latest designer collaborator, following earlier projects with Akira Isogawa, Josh Goot, Michelle Jank and Imitation of Christ’s Tara Subkoff.