WARNING* Nude Bodysuit
PHILIPPA DONNELLAN – Dance Artist in Residence axis, Ballymun 2017-18
BODY OF WORK | What’s the Story?
BLOG #4 by Victoria Ni Bhraoin - April 2018
The other day I was given the difficult task of relating my measurements to the Empress so that she could get my costume sorted out. Of course this meant I was faced with the moral dilemma of actually giving my correct size, rather than the size I wished to be. It stands as one of my trio of dreaded questions – what are your age, height, and weight? Let’s just say I’m twenty-one plus VAT, short in height, and well you don’t need to know the rest…
I managed to fill in the form correctly, but honestly I’m afraid that the costume won’t even fit me. We haven’t been told what we are wearing yet which worries me, and something tells me it won’t be the same basic black costume I’ve made use of in my dancing career up until now. Sure, we dressed it up and added some bling from time to time, but the essentials never changed; black shorts or leggings, black top or bodysuit, dancer skins, black tights and dancing shoes: it was comforting and comfortable. I like how I look in this outfit and I’m not scared of my Buddha belly or my back fat ruining it. A costume I haven’t seen, in an unknown colour? My anxiety levels are reaching dangerous proportions. I like thrillers but this is one mystery that I wish will never come into being.
Body image has been a big obstacle for me. I don’t want to get so stressed by how I look that it hinders my dancing. If that sounds shallow, I apologise. I have to feel safe in my own skin and accepting of myself to get past my dysmorphia. If something as simple as a costume allows me to do that, then I’m all for basic black.
At one session someone had the audacity to suggest nude bodysuits! I recoiled in horror, as I imagined myself looking like the Pilsbury Doughboy from Ghostbusters rampaging on the stage and being banned from coming back to axis ever again.
We are seeing these mystery costumes for the first time tonight. Hopefully there isn’t a murder….