Russian designer who began her career at Tairov's Kamerny Theatre with the designs for Innokenty Annensky's Thamira Kitharides (1916), which sought to represent the Nietzschean conflict between Apollonian and Dionysian forces. The following year her concept of ‘dynamic’ or ‘kinetic’ staging was deployed in Tairov's production of Wilde's Salome. Ekster believed that costume materials, such as silk or brocade, possessed uniquely expressive qualities and that stage space needed to be organized so that setting and costume played complementary and equal roles, serving to integrate the movement of the costumed actor within an organically conceived design. These ideas were further developed in her designs for Tairov's production of Romeo and Juliet (1921), where costume merged with a setting of steps, arches, and bridges over which the actors swarmed at speed, especially in the fight scenes. For a time Ekster worked in film, designing futuristic costumes for Protazanov's Aelita (1924) before emigrating to Paris. She continued to experiment and in 1925 invented ‘epidemic costumes’ for a ballet project where the dancers wore body paint and minimal costume. An admirer of Adolphe Appia, whose influence was apparent in Thamira Kitharides, Ekster also used lighting in original and distinctive ways.