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Simona Rybakova

Agency of Play


My costumes perform through their movement, materiality and dialogue with dancers‘ bodies.


Simona Rybáková, PhD, is a Czech costume designer and independent researcher who studied at the University of Applied Arts in Prague, Helsinki and at RISD in Providence, USA. Her work includes designs for opera, drama, dance, film, TV, special events and multimedia. Currently, she is the head of Costume Design sub-committee OISTAT and member of the Czech and European film Academy. She curated the Extreme Costumes exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial (PQ) ‘11. She was awarded the Swarovski Award in ’96, the Golden Triga at PQ ‘99, and a prize for best costumes in WSD 2013 in Cardiff and Taipei in 2017. She is working, lecturing and exhibiting own work internationally.

TITLE: Bon Appetit

The Bon Appetit performance piece is an authorial dance project where food in the broadest sense of the term is the central topic.

Attributes of specific groceries are sometimes explicitly quoted, but they are also visible through the color and shape metaphors the costumes are using. Dining and means of communication during a meal is portrayed through movement and gestures which asked for simple and sophisticated costumes for the dancers. Those create a nice contrast to the more expressive soloists’ costumes.

Meanwhile the plastic wrappers, primarily non corporal, inspire the  situations where costume parts become narrative when worn by the dancers. It also brought current conversation topics of ecology and overconsumption to the table.

The whole stage and costume design concept prioritized artificial materials, recycled and ready-made plastics.

Even before rehearsals, during creative brainstorm talks with the choreographer many ideas and inspirations have come up. Some costume prototypes have seen its final result only after interacting with the dancers, some functioned as a starting point for further shaping. Some were not used at all since their intense visuality was taking away the attention from the dancers’ bodies and movements.

This deviced method gave life to a project where costume plays an important role in initiating the story, visual form and interaction with dancer’s physicality.


Wrap works with the sensation of physical constrictions and layering of particular emotions.
Simona Rybakova, Wrap, 2020
Foto: Simona Rybakova

In the narrative Orange is an element of provocation, temptation and sexual attraction, culminating in a solo dance act.
Simona Rybakova, Orange, 2020
Foto: Simona Rybakova

In Waste Boy the cup catches on to the overalls of a passing Waste boy. The more he moves around the more food packaging he gathers onto himself.
Simona Rybakova, Waste Boy, 2020
Foto: Simona Rybakova