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

Dance Costume

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

Silk 'altogethers', probably worn for The Moon Maiden performed by dancers of Natural Movement.

Natural Movement is a form of dance developed by Madge Atkinson (1885-1970), based on the natural movements of the human body. Atkinson was inspired by the wide interest in free dance in the early 20th century and her works were developed for both theatre and education.

The Moon Maiden, with music by Rutland Boughton, was presented as either a solo or as a group dance with a cast consisting of the Moon Maiden (mimed and sung), the Old Fisherman, Spirits of Mist and Moonlight and a Chorus. The synopsis is:

‘The Moon Maiden dances with the Spirits of the Mist and looses her cloak. An old Fisherman walking wearily along the seas-shore discovers it. He refuses the entreaties of the Moon Maiden to give her back her cloak, without which she will die. The Spirits of the Mist come to help her in her plight. The Fisherman takes pity on the Moon Maiden in her sorrow and offers to give her back the cloak, if she will dance for him. The Moon Maiden gladly consents, and then is taken away by the Spirits of the Mist, leaving the old Fisherman wrapt in his dreams.'

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Silk and chiffon
Brief description
Blue crinkled silk leotard-like 'altogethers', probably for The Moon Maiden
Physical description
Hand-dyed blue silk leotard-like costume, probably one of the type of undergarments referred to as 'altogethers', stored twisted to achieve a crinkled effect, as in Fortuny garments. Elasticated at the legs and top, with pink ribbon shoulder straps.
Dimensions
  • Length: 59cm
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
Silk 'altogethers', probably worn for The Moon Maiden performed by dancers of Natural Movement.

Natural Movement is a form of dance developed by Madge Atkinson (1885-1970), based on the natural movements of the human body. Atkinson was inspired by the wide interest in free dance in the early 20th century and her works were developed for both theatre and education.

The Moon Maiden, with music by Rutland Boughton, was presented as either a solo or as a group dance with a cast consisting of the Moon Maiden (mimed and sung), the Old Fisherman, Spirits of Mist and Moonlight and a Chorus. The synopsis is:

‘The Moon Maiden dances with the Spirits of the Mist and looses her cloak. An old Fisherman walking wearily along the seas-shore discovers it. He refuses the entreaties of the Moon Maiden to give her back her cloak, without which she will die. The Spirits of the Mist come to help her in her plight. The Fisherman takes pity on the Moon Maiden in her sorrow and offers to give her back the cloak, if she will dance for him. The Moon Maiden gladly consents, and then is taken away by the Spirits of the Mist, leaving the old Fisherman wrapt in his dreams.'
Collection
Accession number
S.81-2020

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdApril 6, 2021
Record URL
Download as: JSON