Adaptation is a collaborative project between Average Height Ladies (Lizzie Barker and Sophie Arstall) and Florence Meredith, with composer Jon Traynor. Sophie Arstall and Lizzie Barker founded Average Height Ladies in 2011, creating worlds where dance, performance design, costume, music and technology collide. They create accessible performance, that inspires wonder and sparks imagination in a variety of settings. Past commissions from UK cultural institutions and international events include several live dance works for specific spaces, flexible trails and proscenium theatres, and an award-winning short film, commissioned by Channel 4 / Random Acts. Florence Meredith and Lizzie Barker are costume designer/makers specialising in performance design for dance and movement. They are currently Senior Costume Technician and Costume Supervisor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, respectively. Lizzie and Flo’s practice’s are focused on improving, and bringing wider awareness to, environmental and ethical sustainability in costume - including involvement in sustainability committees, practical and creative research. Flo’s recent collaborations include work with Hetain Patel, H2 Dance, and the site-specific piece Melting Shifting Liquid World. Following a successful performing career with companies such as Punchdrunk, Lizzie’s design credits include Cameron MacMillan, Dog Kennel Hill and Hofesh Shechter Company. Sophie Arstall is a dancer, maker and facilitator, and Rehearsal Director for Candoco Dance Company. As a freelance dance artist her performance credits include Hagit Yakira, Candoco Dance Company, Rosemary Lee, Ingri Fiksdal, Willi Dorner, and the Tate Galleries. Jon Traynor trained in Composition at Goldsmiths University, London and is a regular collaborator, having made 5 previous scores for Average Height Ladies. Primarily working in the dance sector he has also scored for films, theatre, and installation. Operating in an extended tonal idiom his work features interlocking rhythmic cells, generative procedures, and mixed modalities and is realised through both electronic and acoustic means.
We have been developing sustainable practice in costume design and realisation for a couple of years, and have since joined sustainability committees and try to advocate for better industry practice. There was no particular turning point - as we've been aware of environmental issues our whole lives this issue is simply part of life. However, we during the first month or two of the global pandemic Flo and Lizzie were furloughed from Costume posts at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, which gave us a little time to delve into more structured learning and training around costume specific knowledge and action. This has given us the tools and confidence to develop our sustainable practice more fully, and apply it more widely to our work in design for performance.