RUIXU STUDIO
Scarlet Infusion:photo by Zhang Dan.jpg

COSTUME: SCARLET FUSION | ZHAO LIANG DANCE THEATRE: THE TEA SPELL

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL | 2017

A Fairy Tale, A Tale of Tea - Infusion, In Fashion, In Harmony

PANEL DISCUSSION: SYNERGY: WHEN DANCE MEETS FASHION

at China Exchange London 

A Fairy Tale, A Tale of Tea - Infusion, In Fashion, In Harmony

The collaboration between internationally renowned choreographer Zhao Liang and Rui Xu started in 2012 when the show was premiered during The Chinese Culture Festival in Germany. The main theme of the dance theatre is about Zen and Tea – which was strongly influenced by Chinese Taoist philosophy, a subject that Rui Xu has returned to many times in her fashion designs, including her signature design series XIANG WANG YI exhibited at Royal College of Art and Zaha Hadid Design Gallery.

The costume design process involves a great deal of insistence and compromise between the two artists. “Although I and Zhao Liang have gone through countless arguments and alterations in the creative process, the final major piece of this Scarlet Infusion Series worn by the Tea,” says Rui Xu, “turns out to be very satisfactory and impressive for both of us”.

Rui Xu chose the hue of the Tea Fairy's head-to-toe robe to represent the secular glamour and overwhelming seduction incarnate in the character. In her sumptuous scarlet cloak made entirely from natural materials, the designer plays with well-known motifs from traditional Chinese culture – for example the nine red-crested cranes, suggests Taoist immortality and nobility.

Rui Xu elaborates: “Each of these elegant and fine birds, illustrated throughout the costume in various poses, wings flared, in flight, elongated necks, beaks fishing, legs crooked have been hand-stitched by two tailors and three embroidery specialists, hundreds of hours of meticulous work, depicting the low-relief embroidered cranes cascading down the long flowing train of the cloak with a sculptural effect.”

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