Enter The Sleeping Beauty ballet's epic wardrobe where 300+ costumes from 1972 are still used today
Spot the tutu with Karen Kain's name on the label in these magical rooms of satin and tulle
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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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.
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.
"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."
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.