Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Once Upon A Dream...

You only have to wait a few more days until BalletMet’s Sleeping Beauty opens at the Ohio Theatre! In order to prepare myself for the show, I watched the 1959 Disney film, based on the ballet, over the weekend. As I was watching, I realized that there are vast differences between the ballet and the animated classic. Here are just a few tidbits to help you make the transition from the movie to the ballet:

  1. Characters: When you are reading your playbill, don’t be surprised when some familiar names do not appear, such as Maleficent and Prince Phillip (the evil fairy is named Carabosse and the Prince is Désiré.) There are a few more good fairies in the ballet and some unexpected appearances by other classic fairy tale characters, such as Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots.
  2. Plot: Now I don’t want to give away too many details, but let’s just say that it’s not a spinning wheel that causes Princess Aurora to fall into her 100-year sleep (which in the ballet actually lasts 100 years!). Also, she does not live in the forest under the pseudonym Briar Rose.
  3. Music: The music for the Disney film was inspired by Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s composition for the ballet. However, since this is a ballet, no one will be belting out “Once Upon a Dream” or “I Wonder” (except maybe me at intermission).

Other fun facts about the ballet Sleeping Beauty:
  • This is Tchaikovsky’s longest ballet, clocking in at around 4 hours with intermission. (BalletMet’s version is much shorter.)
  • The first time Sleeping Beauty was performed was in 1890.
  • Sleeping Beauty was the 2nd most popular ballet in the Imperial Ballet’s repertoire.

Two weeks ago, I attended the open rehearsal BalletMet had for Sleeping Beauty. Even though the characters were not in costume and did not have any props, I could tell this is going to be a beautiful show. Visit https://www.balletmet.org/sleepingbeauty to get your tickets now and I hope to see you out this weekend!

-Kelsey :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

To the Costume Shop We Go!

Only one week until the opening of BalletMet’s next performance, Sleeping Beauty. I had the opportunity today to visit the costume shop and talk to Erin Rollins, the Assistant Costume Shop Manager and Wardrobe Manager, about the upcoming show!

Q: Can you tell me a little about the costumes?

A: We have been working on the costumes for Sleeping Beauty since July and have been working on them at the same time as working on costumes for other shows, such as The Nutcracker.

All but around 12 costumes are new, leaving around 300 new costumes and 70 new headpieces. Most of the fabric was purchased from New York City’s Garmet District. Costumes were tailored in China and hats were made in Pennsylvania. All the tutus are custom made and some of the costumes were outsourced to factories to make sure everything is done correctly. We had two specially created road-boxes just for the tutus to get them to the Ohio Theatre. The bodices for both the men and women’s costumes are lined with a heavy canvas; which we’ve used at least 120 yards. I don’t even want to think about how many #6 hooks we have gone through!

Q: Since there are two different casts for this show, how will that work for the costumes?

A: Dancers will be able to share the costumes. However, there are at least 2 extras for each costume just in case, which adds a lot of work!

Q: Will you be working up until the show?

A: Yes. Most likely we will be working through the show. Since the costumes are brand new, they will stretch after the dancers dance in them for the first time, so we will be working through the show and refitting. There are at least 12 artisans and plenty of volunteers who have been helping since July! We have specialty make-up for Carabosse and her minions. There is a special team just to be backstage doing makeup for the children.

Q: After Sleeping Beauty, what’s next for the costume shop?

A: DanceTech and a little bit of rehabbing (which consists of cleaning, filing, etc.)

Q: Which costume is your favorite?

A: That’s tricky. Right now, I really love the White Cat costume. She is so sassy and fun.

Q: What are you most excited for?

A: I am most excited to see the costumes on the stage! The costumes have enormous detail and are very rich. It is going to be a beautiful show.

Thank you so much for your time Erin! I know how busy you are and I enjoyed getting to visit down there! Sleeping Beauty opens next week so make sure to get your tickets!

-Kelsey :)