Video

Enter The Sleeping Beauty ballet's epic wardrobe where 300+ costumes from 1972 are still used today

These costumes have danced across the decades...spot the tutu with Karen Kain's name on the label in these magical wardrobe rooms of silk and tulle.

Spot the tutu with Karen Kain's name on the label in these magical rooms of satin and tulle

Veronica Tennant and Rudolf Nureyev performing in The Sleeping Beauty in 1972. (Jack Mitchell / Archive Photos / Getty Images)

In 1972, the National Ballet of Canada staged a version of The Sleeping Beauty ballet that would put them on, as they describe, the "international ballet map." Choreographed by the famed Rudolf Nureyev, starring Nureyev himself and Veronica Tennant, with costumes and set by Nicholas Georgiadis, the ballet was the most grand and expensive that the National Ballet Company had produced up to that point.

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The National Ballet of Canada's wardrobe supervisor extraordinaire, Marjory Fielding, gives us an inside look at the 340 costumes for The Sleeping Beauty. 4:14

But despite all of The Sleeping Beauty's grandeur and record-breaking acclaim, could anyone in the cast and creative team ever have imagined that 46+ years later the costumes and sets would continue to be used?

That's right. The National Ballet's current production of The Sleeping Beauty in Toronto uses the costumes from the original 1972 production, some of which were worn by legendary ballerinas including Tennant and Karen Kain. The astounding 340 costumes along with set pieces and backdrops were refurbished in 2006 and continue to be lovingly maintained by the Ballet's meticulous wardrobe department.

National Ballet of Canada wardrobe supervisor Marjory Fielding looks at tutus for The Sleeping Beauty. (CBC Arts)
I love older costumes because they have a life of their own in a lot of ways. They carry the history of the dancers who have been in them.- Marjory Fielding, wardrobe supervisor at the National Ballet of Canada

For wardrobe supervisor Marjory Fielding, the older costumes have "a life of their own." As she describes: "They carry the history of the dancers who have been in them."

In this video, Fielding gives us an inside look at the Ballet's wardrobe department as they prepare the costumes for 2018's production of The Sleeping Beauty in Toronto.

A costume from The Sleeping Beauty. (CBC Arts)

"There's a mystical component to wearing the costume of a dancer you admire," says Fielding. "You just know that all these people have worn these costumes and danced their best when it was their turn to do the role."

Principal Dancer Heather Ogden as Princess Aurora with artists of the ballet in the National Ballet of Canada's 2006 production of The Sleeping Beauty. (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

The National Ballet of Canada's The Sleeping Beauty  is on from Mar 8, 2018 to Mar 18, 2018 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.

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ISTOICA is a production company and creative partnership that focuses on producing visually compelling and structurally dynamic content. Straddling both documentary and commercial productions ISTOICA continues to explore distinct documentary stories. The team premiered their study of modern love and relationships, LOVE YA at Toronto’s Hot Docs and are keeping busy shooting projects all around the world. Check out what ISTOICA has been up to at istoica.com

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