Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Uniform musings, Part 3 - The Blue Devils

The Blue Devils (Concord, CA)
The uniforms of the Blue Devils, like most other drum corps, arose out of the military tradition - this instance the corps arose from a VFW post in Concord. The early uniforms were keeping in this military style complete with cummerbund, shakos, and cross-belts. Over time those elements have not disappeared completely, they have just evolved into the current design we know BD for today. The cummerbund and cross-belt have been melded together to form a sharp reflective, sequined angle that cuts both ways across the chest. The shako is black with silver highlights.

The Blue Devils uniform works in different ways than either The Cadets or The Cavaliers. Where those corps uniforms rely on a contrast of color to highlight the performers (white/cream against a green field), The Blue Devils rely on a contrast of illumination. Allow me to explain. The sequins and silver reflects the light back in a more true fashion than the solid bold white of the other corps. This gives a greater illuminative effect at night and in low light, or directional light situations (for example stadium lights). It is the difference between standing out in a field at night holding a white piece of paper verses a sheet of aluminum foil. The silver compliments the silver of the horns forming more of an active contrast where the reflected light is engaging you in different ways depending on your angle. This concept flows nicely with the laid-back, easy-going reputation of the corps.

The lower half of the body is shrouded in darkness, like the Cavaliers, obscuring any clear read on the technique. Personally, I am not sure exactly how they teach it, but from being around the activity and talking to people, it seems as though they do everything in the easiest way possible that still looks good. The marching technique is definitely not a "bicycle" like the Cavaliers, however it isn't a strict straight-legged technique either. The black pants allow them to
become more relaxed and take a more natural approach to marching.

Thats it for BD, I probably missed something, so drop me a line and let me know.

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