July 22, 2021

Intangible Beauty: What Dress Traditions Reveal About Self and Identity

with Paula Davis

7:00 – 8:30pm EDT

online via Zoom

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About the Presentation

For this program, Paula will share some of her favorite stories that emerged during dozens of interviews with village performers in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia.
From 2005-2010, Paula Davis attended numerous folk festivals throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe to research the use of traditional dress in performance. These festivals typically featured amateur village groups and provided a unique opportunity to study traditional folk dress and their wearers, revealing rich oral histories and the deeply-felt relationship between dress, culture, and identity. She wanted to consider the living, dynamic existence of folk dress, as opposed to viewing it as a static form that exists only in the past or in a museum exhibit.

About Paula

When she is not dancing wherever she can, Paula Davis can be found teaching history of dress and designing costumes for the Department of Theatre and Dance at Bucknell University. Specializing in collaborative new works, she designed for the new opera Friday After Friday in New York City and for Fisher Ensemble’s Los Angeles premiere of the opera Monticello Wakes.

She is a Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble Affiliate Artist and has designed for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Phoenix Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix, Arizona State University, as well as for choreographers in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Taiwan. Paula has given research talks at the Museum of International Folk Art in New Mexico and at conferences around the world. Paula received her BFA in Costume Design from California Institute of the Arts and MFA in Scenography from Arizona State University. Images and stories from Paula’s research may be viewed at her website.

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