Dance Costume thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Dance Costume

mid 20th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Long plum-coloured dress worn for the Natural Movement production, Vintage Rhythms.

Natural Movement was established by Madge Atkinson (1885-1970), initially in Manchester in the early years of the 20th century. Madge was a barefoot dancer who drew inspiration from movement in nature (water, the breeze, etc) and from the natural movements of the human body. Along with her contemporaries Ruby Ginner and Margaret Morris, she pioneered modern dance in Britain.

Vintage Rhythms was a group work choreographed by Madge Atkinson to parts of Liadov's Biroulki Opus 2 (1876), a series of 14 piano pieces. It celebrated a rural community with dances called To the Harvest, Fruit Gathering, Waggon Hauling and Unloading, Grape Treading and Harvest Festival. The collection at the V&A includes 21 dresses, each consisting of a waisted bodice with peplum and a skirt in a lighter cotton, often tie-dyed in a contrasting or similar colour.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Dyed cotton and metallic buttons
Brief description
Long plum-coloured dress worn for the Natural Movement production, Vintage Rhythms
Physical description
Ankle-length cotton dress consisting of a false bodice with peplum and skirt attached, stitched at the waist. There are four filigree metal buttons down the front of the bodice, which is fastened with five hooks and eyes. The gathered skirt is made of a lighter cotton to enable it to move easily, but the hem is weighty to control the movement. This version of the dress has a plum-coloured bodice and skirt tie-dyed in shades of brown.

Dimensions
  • Dress shoulder to hem length: 120cm
  • Length of bodice shoulder to waist length: 37cm
  • At waist circumference: 62cm
Credit line
Given by Francine Watson Coleman on behalf of the Natural Movement organisation
Object history
Acquired as a part of the Natural Movement Collection.
Summary
Long plum-coloured dress worn for the Natural Movement production, Vintage Rhythms.

Natural Movement was established by Madge Atkinson (1885-1970), initially in Manchester in the early years of the 20th century. Madge was a barefoot dancer who drew inspiration from movement in nature (water, the breeze, etc) and from the natural movements of the human body. Along with her contemporaries Ruby Ginner and Margaret Morris, she pioneered modern dance in Britain.

Vintage Rhythms was a group work choreographed by Madge Atkinson to parts of Liadov's Biroulki Opus 2 (1876), a series of 14 piano pieces. It celebrated a rural community with dances called To the Harvest, Fruit Gathering, Waggon Hauling and Unloading, Grape Treading and Harvest Festival. The collection at the V&A includes 21 dresses, each consisting of a waisted bodice with peplum and a skirt in a lighter cotton, often tie-dyed in a contrasting or similar colour.
Collection
Accession number
S.15-2020

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Record createdJanuary 30, 2020
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