Performance costume, ‘Banana Gymnast’, fabric / fibreglass, designed by Jennifer Irwin, made by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop, used in Closing Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000

Made by Ceremonies Costume Workshop in Redfern, New South Wales, 2000.

The Banana Gymnast costume was designed by Jennifer Irwin and manufactured in the Ceremonies Costume Workshop. It features a yellow unitard and nylon lycra suit and a teddy bear headdress. It was used in the ‘Bananas in Pyjamas’ section of the Icons segment of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony. It was one of a number of identical costumes worn by school children dancing around the base of the Bananas In Pyjamas float, which paid homage to the ABC children’s television program of the...

Summary

2001/84/136
Consists of a long sleeved leotard made from yellow stretch synthetic material, a lycra hoop suit which is worn over the leotard. It is made up of eight alternating yellow and white lycra panels. A fibreglass hoop is sewn into the hem of the suit causing it to flare out towards the base. A teddy bear hood made from imitation brown fur fabric. The hood has teddy bear like ears sewn to it and is held on under the chin with a strip of black elastic. A pair of yellow canvas slip on shoes completes the costume.

Production

Jennifer Irwin (born Sydney 1958) has designed costumes for numerous Australian dance and theatre productions. Her designs for dance have been seen on stage in 24 countries. She has designed costumes for over 25 works by the Sydney Dance Company and has worked extensively with director and choreographer Stephen Page on his productions for the Bangarra Dance Theatre and for the Australian Ballet. Also with Stephen Page, Irwin designed costumes for the Opening Ceremony for the Festival of the Dreaming (1998) and for Tubowgule - the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival. Irwin also designed the costumes for the Official Ceremony for the Centenary of Federation on 1 January 2001.

Jennifer Irwin's many costume design commissions for dramatic works include collaborations with directors Gale Edwards and Marion Potts for the Sydney Theatre Company and with Neil Armfield for Company B at the Belvoir St Theatre.

Irwin was awarded a Theatre Board (Australia Council) grant to study scenic design at La Scala Opera in Milan, Italy.

Her designs for the Closing Ceremony demonstrate her unique talent of infusing contemporary, cutting edge design with a sensitivity and understanding of dance, movement and cultural significance.

Her designs for the Banana Gymnasts are inspired by the bright primary colour palette of the ABC television show Bananas In Pyjamas.
Ceremonies Costume Workshop 2000

Source

Part of the Sydney 2000 Games Collection Gift of the New South Wales Government, 2001
4 October, 2001

Cite this Object

Performance costume, 'Banana Gymnast', fabric / fibreglass, designed by Jennifer Irwin, made by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop, used in Closing Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 September 2017, <https://ma.as/503772>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/503772 |title=Performance costume, 'Banana Gymnast', fabric / fibreglass, designed by Jennifer Irwin, made by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop, used in Closing Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 September 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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