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Costume Ball: Before they dance across the stage, some of the Puget Sound’s most creative threads shuffle through the workshop of Tacoma designer Lisa Fruichantie.

Fans of dance might not recognize Lisa Fruichantie, but they very well might recognize her work, which has appeared on any number of stages throughout the Puget Sound. The Tacoma resident’s costumes have accompanied the work of choreographers including Joel Myers and Donald Byrd. This month, Fruichantie’s work will be on display at the Triple Door, where members of MLK Ballet, outfitted in costumes that Fruichantie spent much of the fall constructing, will perform a ballet choreographed to the music of the evening’s star, singer-songwriter Vicci Martinez. The performance caps a furious fall for Fruichantie, who also serves as senior projectionist at Grand Cinema. Asked what’s next, the Alaska native says she is enrolling in Tacoma Community College to “get my general education so I can figure out what I am doing when I grow up.” Don’t worry, choreographers; Fruichantie will still be busy in her workshop for the foreseeable future. “I could never stop making costumes,” she says. “I will probably do it forever.”


Photo by Victoria Lahti

1) Headdress
“I designed this for Seattle choreographer Selfick Ng-Simancas. It was for a piece that was based on the ritual of spring at On the Boards in 2008 and again in 2009. I used the headdresses again for Motopony’s CD release party.”

2) Half-Hearted Blouse
“This is part of one of nine costumes for the Triple Door. The piece is about love, so some of these pieces are half-hearts that merge while they are dancing. It was a longer process because the choreographer (MLK Ballet’s Kate Monthy) was not sure exactly what she wanted. I would go to the rehearsals and observe the process, so that each piece matches the dancer’s personality.”

3) Whimsical Dress
“This is one of a few costumes I have made for The Furniture Series by Robin Jacklein, a teacher at SOTA. It’s for a floor piece called “The Chair” that takes place on a large, oversized rocking chair; young girls in pantaloons, playing on their grandpa’s big chair.”

4) Coffee Cozy
“I made a bunch of these for the Cash Flow Show at Mad Hat Tea Company, where they sell local artists’ works for twenty-five dollars and less. They were five dollars each and can fit on your key chain. I sold over twenty.”

5) Local Art
“I have a huge variety of artwork I collect, but it’s all from local Tacoma artists. These pieces are from Roshni Roberts.”

6) Big Bamboo Shawl
“I don’t even know what you would call it. I call it a ‘shrug.’ I made that for Daniel Blue to wear during the Motopony CD release party. It’s supposed to be suggestive of the film Hook. Rufio was the inspiration.”

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