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  1. #1
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    troupe costume - owned by troupe director

    i'm thinking of ordering troupe costume items, where, instead of selling them to the members, they remain mine, so if people leave, they can go to new membering entering, etc.

    people would pay a "deposit", that they only get back if it comes back washed and ironed?? do i keep them at my place or can troupe members keep them at theirs.
    anybody else does it and how does it work out for you?

    thanks


  2. #2
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    troupe costuming again!


  3. #3
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    I haven't done it with costume pieces -- yet! But I have some troupe props (silk veils, canes, getting wings this week). And I used to have a big box of my own older costumes that I loaned out to students (before I learned the art of the swap!)

    I keep them at the studio. I carry them to events & back again. No one takes them home, except in very special circumstances with my permission.

    But I really like the idea of holding a deposit against damage. It gets wearying hauling all that stuff around. Maybe a binder where the person signs the item out & back in again, so you always know who has what? And any existing marks/damage would be noted next to the item in the binder (like when you rent a car & make note of existing scratches).

    I would definitely want to keep them at my place, though.


  4. #4
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    've been thinking about this too. I've been in troupes where the costume belonged to the troupe but the dancers kept it in thier own closets. I've been thinking of a way to do this that is easily managed and agreeable to everyone. I like the deposit idea. I've also thought about having dancer's "sign out" a costume -- this could fit in easily withthe deposit idea. When a dancer receives a costume, a contract of sorts would be signed stating that the costume belongs to the troupe and if the dancer leaves the troupe the costume must be returned in the same condition (minus wear and tear). That way, it's clear who has what. If your troupe and costume wardrobe becomes large, you can even start numbering the cossies and indicating thier number on teh "contract." (ok, I'm a museum professional, so that's coming out a bit here...)

    My thought is that this might work for troupes that have dancers buy their costumes as well. The contract can state that the dancer is purchasing this costume for troupe performances and should she leave the troupe, the troupe has the option of buying the costume back from her. Just a thought, since investing in all those troupe costumes is a lot!


  5. #5
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    I've been toying with the idea as well. I would definitely keep the costumes in your position. I was thinking about charging a rental fee. Something around maybe $10 or $15. A dollar amount which would cover dry cleaning and eventually put some money towards paying off the costumes in the long run.

    Nilaja


  6. #6
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    I belong to a troupe where the troupe director owns the costumes. We do not pay a deposit but we also do not take them home (unless it's a situation where we are traveling separately and have to take them home the night before a performance).

    It works pretty well, the only drawback is size - it can be a scamble to adjust costumes for tall/short/skinny/heavy, but it always seems to work out. These are mostly folkloric costumes anyway - Tunisian, Ghawazee, Andalusian, etc so there is some "give" to make adjustments. And one troupe member is the unofficial seamstress.

    For cabaret style, the director does have a few selections of dresses and two piece bra/choli and skirt sets that work well and fit a range of sizes. But if it requires bedleh, we wear our own and loan each other sets so that we'll somewhat match.


  7. #7
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    I was in a troupe where the costumes were always elaborate and often expensive to make. We helped each other to make our own costumes. We had an understanding that troupe costumes were not to be used outside of troupe performances but nothing ever in writing. Looking back I feel there should have been some kind of written agreement including what to do if you left the troupe.

    Maybe it was just me, but when I was no longer dancing regularly with the troupe I felt that full costumes should not be sold outside of the troupe, I did sell some costumes and costume pieces to new troupe members and was traumatised for life when a few years later one of those people sold her very distinctive troupe costume to the outside world!!!

    None of which really answers your question

    I think if you are supplying the costumes the troupe members should pay a deposit and also a rental fee to be paid up front. You are saving them a lot of time, effort and money by providing the costumes. They should contribute to the normal wear and tear, and be responsible for repairs and out-of-the-ordinary stain removal (like if someone spills coffee on theirs). The fee doesn't need to be a huge onerous amount, after all they are a captive market, but you as the troupe director shouldn't have to bear the full cost.

    Also you should write out the rules for how you expect the costume to be looked after ... not everyone treats their belongings with the same amount of respect and some people don't know how to look after delicate and unusual fabrics.

    If you are like me and feel bad about charging for stuff, here is what someone else told me ... by giving these types of things away too cheaply you set up unrealistic expectations for the students about what things actually cost in the 'real' bellydance world. Costumes are expensive.

    sorry, rambling, thanks for listening if you got this far


  8. #8
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    thanks for the input everyone

    jilyan: that's a good point you are making (i did get to the end) about making sure they know what these things cost

    at the moment it's only about matching sharifwear outfits, but in the future this might be about a collection of matching bella's... so i'm trying to get ideas of possible ways to go about this. the main reason for keeping them in my own care would not be so it does not cost the students, but to make sure we can maintain a certain troupe look for a while, even with members leaving, and for it to be the troupe costumes that cannot be used outside of troupe performances. so some good ideas there too. thanks!


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    When we've done this in the past, we've been given the option to buy them or return them to the studio director. We weren't charged any sort of fee, but I can see how that would be a good idea for really nice expensive sets that get used a bit.

    In general, most people chose to keep/buy their costumes anyway!


  10. #10
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    artemisia, if your troup get's to wear bella's, I want in! When I performed in a studentgroup we borrowed small stuff (skirts, hipscarf) from our teacher. She did this free of charge, but I think that we would've all agreed on paying a smalla mount to cover wear and tear. Getting everyone geared up and afterwards getting everything back is a tiresome project too.

    If you're considering getting expensive costumes in the future, put things on paper and make sure that people understand how lucky they are that you're making the effort to make them look good on stage for a minimum amount of money. I think it's great that you're working on this.


  11. #11
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    I believe that for Jillina's troupe the Sahlala dancers, she owns all the costumes. I am assuming that the dancers pay some kind of "rental" fee or some kind of troupe fee or something that helps cover some of the costs. I would guess that as long as you own them you keep them at your house and they just borrow them when they need them, but they won't store them at their house. I would suggest that you keep them in your possession. Ask Carolynn about the fees for troupe costumes because she knows Jillina and may have some good suggestions.


  12. #12
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    Hi there Artemisia and all :)
    Ok have to admit that I'm a little collector person lol, so as a troup director I design costumes, keep them, store them etc.
    Its an understantment that I help students, dancers to look good on stage, and they are not paying for this, but once every2 months we do a show-hafla that all the income goes for the costume part, cleaning, new costumes etc.
    I keep the costumes cause people come and go, if everyone take the costume, i would left without options about stage.

    Maria Aya


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