Hello Voyager

Textiles At The Ballet

This week, I’m swept up in all things ballet and costume. I’ve been indulging in videos about costume design, saving all the photos of the ABT’s production of Whipped Cream to my Pinterest board, and am toying with the idea of trying to sew a professional-style tutu.

When I’m not dreaming of tutus and pointe shoes, I’m finalizing details for our September Grand British Textile Tour – keep an eye out for the official tour announcement in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’ve gathered some fun links for you – explore below for a look at textile conservation, costume design, and artist inspiration.

This is a sensational look at museum textile conservation. Watch and learn how conservationists created a new skirt for Degas’s sculpture, The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer.

I’ve never had the opportunity to see a production at the Royal Opera House in London, but I have watched a number of their videos online. I particularly enjoy the ones which take you into the costume department. This backstage look at the Lilac Fairy costume from Sleeping Beauty illustrates the intricacies of the design.

Not all ballet costumes are tutus and flowers. In the 1920s, artists from the Bauhaus movement designed costumes that defied all classical ballet stereotypes. This article has a great recap of the movement’s impact on the world of dance. Be sure to check out the 1970s revival of the Bauhaus ballet, Triadische Ballet.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is my local museum. There is a lot to see and enjoy there, but I love slipping off to the small, dark room called the Pastel Cabinet. If I’m lucky, I’ll come across a Degas on display. The delicate artworks aren’t on display for long, so it is a special treat to see the beautiful ballerinas. This video from Sotheby’s is a lovely overview of Degas’s ballerina-inspired work. I love how he uses color to depict the frothy layers of the tutus.