Sunday, June 19, 2016

The End of a Season- Part 2





Alice in Wonderland was the big show for the ballet area for the 2015 season. Grant money was awarded and budgets set. Design opportunities were given to students. Three students were chosen for costumes. I came in as a consultant and costume construction manager. I think there is a shroud of mystery that is assumed when approaching dance costumes and I have felt this too when I was a student. Even with my presentations on how to approach design and fabric considerations and movement considerations, they still came to me for our sit down cutter/draper meeting with not much to give me. Designs were done but for me only part way. An important aspect in designing is figuring out the materials and the trims and to some extent construction ideas. I put in a lot of hours figuring  this part out for them among other things. I'm not complaining and I am not sure if this is typical for beginning costume students. It is almost as if they can't get past the pretty pictures into the nitty gritty work. I hope my mentoring helped them to be better and that to me was the most important part of the project.

Flower tutu plates
The initial build for this show was around 75 costumes but through budget tightening/trimming I reduced the build to about 60. This was a brand new show and we had to build it. We also wanted to build it so the show could be remounted in the future. The main part of the construction took place in the summer from June-August. I had two student stitchers, a master tailor, and a master costume crafts person, with me being the draper. Our focus was to have everything built by the end of summer and ready for fittings when dancers were cast in September. One of our biggest hurdles was having a place to build. I work from home but this show would have been difficult to do that way especially with a student staff.

Alice bell tutu skirt
We worked in one shop on campus for a month and then had to move to another building and worked there for another month in half. By then the summer was over and I had to move out of the second shop as their season was picking up. I also started to lose my staff as they were either students or staff with other work they needed to move onto. I contracted two stitchers who could work from home and with their help we finished the show.







Flamingo bustle skirt

Rosebush skirt





In studio rehearsal

In studio rehearsal

In studio rehearsal

In studio rehearsal

Publicity poster 



Watch a Rehearsal video


Watch a Highlight Reel


Read a News article


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