Performance costume, 'Tapper', fabric, leather, designed by Nigel Triffit , used in the Opening Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000
The Tapper costume, consisting of jeans, singlet, socks and boots was worn by tap dancers in the Eternity segment of the Sydney 2000 Games Opening Ceremony. The segment and its costumes was directed and designed by Nigel Triffit. The costume was assembled from new and second hand clothing.
Quoting the Sydney 2000 Post-Games Report: The segment that brought the exploration of the country to a close was a salute to its generations of workers: the people who built the docks, roads, bridges, railways, factories, schools, hospitals and homes. It was called Eternity in reference to Arthur Stace, a Sydney identity of the 1930s, a reformed alcoholic who found Christianity and spent most of his days chalking the word 'Eternity' in loving copperplate on pavements and buildings all over the city.
The accent throughout this segment, directed by Nigel Triffitt, was on tap dancing. A solo dancer, Adam Garcia, led a crew of workers through the construction of a 30 m high bridge. As foreman, he was joined at first by 150 dancers, all from the casts of the musicals Tap Dogs, Hot Shoe Shuffle and Steel City. They were joined on the scaffolds by another 500 tap- dancers, then by another 500 in the aisles. The whole effect was one of intricate rhythms building to a crescendo.
The completed bridge was the Bridge of Life, a walkway towards connection and Reconciliation. As the structure was completed, performers from every section of the Opening Ceremony stormed onto the arena, gathering to form a giant multicoloured mandala. Djakapurra and the little girl, together again, rose high in the air. As the performers bade farewell, the Sydney Harbour Bridge appeared, with the word 'Eternity' scrawled across its steel arch - as had happened on the actual Harbour Bridge once before, on New Year's Eve, 1999. The journey was complete. (Source - Sydney 2000 Post Games Report , OCA. http://www.gamesinfo.com.au/postgames/en/pg000002.htm Web site hosted and managed by State Library of NSW)
The 'tapper' costume is comprised of purchased new and second hand clothing and features a blue flannelette shirt, jeans, a white singlet and workboots. The boots are made by Blundstone to specifications supplies by SOCOG who then added steel 'taps' to the base. The costumes were divided into five groups according to their predominant colour: red. black, blue, green and yellow.
Nigel Triffit both directed and designed the Eternity segment. He has had a long and diverse career as a designer and director. He directed and designed the The New Rocky Horror Show in 1992. Early work as a director and a designer was with the Last Laugh, Handspan Theatre and at the Universal Theatre in its heyday.
Nigel has been at the creative helm in productions like The Fall of Singapore and Tap Dogs. Film work includes. production designer on Bootmen 2000 and director - Tap Dogs 1996.
Triffit directed and designed the theatrical production Tap Dogs which premiered at the Sydney Theatre Festival in 1995, the show being an immediate hit and has been produced around the world. The Eternity segment has resonances of this production in the design of the costumes for reflects the working class everyday dress of Australia: workboots, jeans, singlets and a 'flannie'.
Maker name Co-ordinated by Helen Dykes of the Ceremonies Costume Department.
Worn by one of approximately 175 'Tappers' in the Eternity segment.
Presented to the Powerhouse Museum by the Olympic Coordination Authority, on behalf of the NSW Government