High-tech costume for Belly Dancer

A recent trend in the show-biz points towards high-tech outfits for artists wearing technology enriched stage-wear to attract visual attention and enhance their performance during the show.

Loretta Faveri student at OCAD (Ontario College of Art & Design University) goes beyond and above the usual visual effects with her version of a Belly Dance costume by integrating wearable technology tightly into the performance, making  it an active part of the show.

Behind the project title ‘Chance Operations of the Body‘ unfolds a high-tech costume for Belly Dancer. But unlike other wearable technology designs, Loretta’s integration shows off in a almost provocative but beautiful and sensible way the tech part of the costume.

Instead of hiding conductive yarn traces and other components she uses them as style element, blending them into the overall aesthetic of the dance costume. The result is a beautiful, sensational outfit for a performing artist.

How does it work? The costume makes uses the wearable processing power of the LilyPad Arduino which receives signals from various sensors such as accelerometer, tilt and stretch sensor to track the body movements.

The dancer’s movement is translated into signals and send via Bluetooth to a computer for sound processing based on Loretta’s predefined and prepared playlist. These pre-recorded sounds mixed with the movements of the dancer result in a ‘digitalized’ version of middle-eastern music that is often accompanying Belly Dance performances.

In the YouTube video clip below, Denise Mireau, the dancer and owner/director of The Studio for Movement gracefully demonstrates the work of Loretta Faveri:

Click over to Loretta’s project site for more details and inspiration.

The Belly Dance costume from Loretta Faveri is an amazing example how highly creative people weave today’s ubiquitous technology not only into clothing but into the fine arts, the culture of the digital age.


  1. Hello Eric,
    Thank you for writing a wonderful report on my project. Please watch out for my thesis project in the spring of 2012 as it will greatly expand on this concept.

  2. Hi Loretta,
    it has been a pleasure to write about your interesting, fascinating work and I am now very curious about your spring ’12 project

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