October 26, 2018
On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, Stamps students from Professor Rebekah Modrak’s “Dressing Up and Down” course and members of U-M’s synchronized swimming club collaborated with visiting multimedia artist Claudia Bitran to recreate scenes from James Cameron’s blockbuster film “Titanic” at Canham Natatorium. The event was filmed and open to the public.
New York-based Bitran has been recreating the famous tragedy since 2014 with more than 500 participants from 15 cities across the U.S. and Chile. Bitran was on campus part of the Roman J. Witt Visiting Artist program at the Stamps School of Art & Design. The project received funding from Arts at Michigan and U-M Athletics.
Meredith Bruckner covered the collaboration for WDIV’s Click on Detroit.
Students in the Stamps School course “Dressing Up & Down” created wearable props and elaborate costumes to re-envision the scenes where passengers are thrown from the sinking ship into the frigid waters.
“My role as a faculty member co-leading the project with visiting artist Claudia Bitran has been to challenge and help students in the class synthesize multiple sources into each costume,” professor of the design class Rebekah Modrak said in a statement ahead of the event.
“Costumes will incorporate 1912 fashions of first- and third-class passengers, miniature icebergs in frozen waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, elements of life jackets, and the insignia of the Marines directing the ship.”
The swimmers performed a mixture of original choreography and routines from the film while Bitran stood by and directed and filmed the performance.
Claudia Bitran directs. Photo by Nick Beardslee.