These Artists Are Creating Hand-Folded Origami Tutus

Costumes are rarely the focus of a ballet performance - as a general rule, most choreographers choose to keep things pretty simple to keep the audience focused on the dancing. Tights and a tutu are a ballet cliché for a reason! That's why it's so special to see dance costumes that are really out of the box.

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Melka Dez and Pauline Loctin are two artists based in Montreal, Canada. Dez is a movement photographer and Loctin works with paper as an art medium; together they have created the PLI.E. Project. They take dancers from around the world and create individual, custom costumes, matching the shape and colors of the costume to the dancers. The most amazing part - each of the costumes are hand folded in the traditional origami style. I can't even fold a paper crane - it's pretty incredible to see the amount of detail and work that goes into each individual costume! 

The first part of the project consisted only of studio shoots with professional dancers wearing the costumes. After that, it grew exponentially, and the dancers are now photographed outside at a variety of venues around the world. The artistic duo has staged shoots at some of the world's most well-known places - New York, Paris, Rome, and of course Montreal.

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The photos are currently being exhibited in Montreal, and the artists are planning to publish a photo book. Follow Dez and Loctin on Instagram to see more of their work.

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.