Which Are Your Favorite Costumes?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, January 17, 2020

Photo: With Ulrik Birkkjær. Diamonds

Thank you for the question, @elisabethbjornholst


Costumes!! So many beautiful costumes! We are so lucky at the Royal Danish Ballet to have a super talented costume department that makes THE most incredible costumes! I’m absolutely blown away by what I get to wear on stage. They are amazing!

I am 100% a tutu person. I love all tutu’s! To be extremely specific, my favorite costumes are the tutu’s that are considered to be “small”. For example, the tutu I wore for Theme & Variations or for Diamonds.

Photo: NYC Dance Project. Theme & Variations Tutu

The tutus used for more of the classical ballets such as Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty, or Raymonda are also very beautiful but they can be quite large! The smaller tutus just feel like they fit the best.

Photo: With Ulrik Birkkjær. Swan Queen (Odette) Tutu

Here are some of my favorite tutu’s!!

Diamonds Tutu
Photo: With Gregory Dean. Gamzatti Tutu.
Black Swan Tutu
Photo: With Jonathan Chmelensky. Princess Florine Tutu
Photo: With Sebastian Haynes. Coppelia Tutu
Photo: With Jon Axel. Sugar Plum Fairy Tutu.
Photo: With Jonathan Chmelensky
Raymonda Tutu.

My other favorite type of costume is a leotard with a flowy skirt. For example, Ballo Della Regina or T. Pas.

Photo: With Jonathan Chmelensky. Ballo Della Regina.

I’m a fan of dancing in a tight fitting costume that doesn’t get in my way. 😉 Here are some of my favorite flowy dresses.

Photo: With Marcin Kupinski. T. Pas
Photo: With Magnus Christoffersen. Schubert Pas De Deux
Dew Drop.
Teresina Second Act

Soon (April 2020!!) in Come Fly Away, I will get to wear the costume below and I’m positive that it will be going on my favorite costume list! I mean look at those sparkles!!

Kate Costume.

Xoxo,
-Hol

What Is A Costume Fitting Like at The Royal Danish Ballet!?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, September 13, 2019

Oooooh! Costume fittings are the best!! I think it is so much fun when you are called to one. It is the time where you get that first sneak peek of what you’ll be wearing on stage! It makes it all the more real and exciting!

We are so lucky at the Royal Danish Ballet, because we have absolutely the most talented costume department and the nicest, hands down. The men and women that work in the costume department are absolutely sweethearts. They care so much about the dancers and you can feel it when you are with them trying on their beautiful creations. I’m a huge, HUGE fan of the costume department.

When you get called for a costume fitting, your name will be written on the schedule. (My name is written in red, along with the time I am called on the schedule to the left.) The fittings are usually pretty quick (around 5-10 min.) but it does depend on if you are trying on a costume, that has already been made or one that is being created for the first time.

When you try on a costume, that has already been made, many times it was made on someone else. We keep costumes for years! Which is cool when you try on a costume, that has a name of a past ballerina that you admire! Legend- wear! The costume department comes prepared, as they’ve taken the time to figure out, who’s measurements are the closest to yours and pulled that costume for you to try on. Then, only slight alterations are needed.

Diamonds Costume Fitting. Seamstress: Bente Kirk

When you are called for a costume fitting for a brand new ballet, that has all new costumes, then it will take a bit longer. Anywhere from ten minutes to two hours. When a fitting takes a long time, it is usually because the designer is able to be at the fitting. Therefore more ideas are discussed and bounced back and forth. It’s actually pretty cool to witness their artistic thought process about their creations.

Karen Blixen costume fitting with Bente Kirk.

I recently was called to a fitting for the up and coming World Premiere of, Karen Blixen. Choreography by Gregory Dean. Scenography and costume design by Jon Morrell. Music by Claude Debussy. Composer and musical arrangement by Martin Yates. It is very exciting!

Karen Blixen Costume Fitting with Bente Kirk.

You go to the costume department at the time you are called and meet one of the seamstresses. They will help you get dressed and then they start pinning! Pinning everything. A waist that needs to go in, a hem that needs to be shortened, a sleeve that needs to be attached, a neckline lowered… the list of possibilities goes on and on.

I’m usually quite chatty at costume fittings. It’s a nice, ten minute break from rehearsal, where I get to share stories of my summer, or show lots of pictures of my cat. (Guilty)

Giselle Costume Fitting. Creation.
Giselle Costume Fitting. Seamstress: Bajsen Hertz.

Once they are done pinning, they help you slip out of the costume without piercing yourself and off you go, back in to rehearsal.

The costume department is a magical place where all the beauty is created. I love them. Best “coffee break” anyone could ask for.

xoxo
-Hol

Coppelia Costume Fitting.
Black Swan Costume Fitting

Do We Get Help Changing Costumes During A Show?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, August 26, 2019

Photo: Kasper Nybo

In fact, we do! And thank goodness! We have the most lovely colleagues that specifically help us with our costumes during a show and full costume rehearsals. We call them, Dressers. There are two dressers for every floor of dressing rooms. Approximately 12 dressers are in the house on a performance night.

Help backstage. Water and a pat down. Photo: Kasper Nybo

If you are the lead female and male dancer of the evening, you have your very own dresser. They help you with any costume changes, or anything that you could possible need throughout the night. It’s like having a guardian angel, helping you bring your best to the stage. They even bring you a glass of water in the wings. Which is totally going above and beyond their job but very much appreciated.

A dresser arrives to the theater around 6:30pm/7pm. They check the casting for the night and then put everyone’s costume in to their personal dressing room, including hair pieces and accessories. Then, they sit in the hallway waiting patiently for us to come out of our rooms to help us get dressed. All strings must be tucked away and all accessories on before we head down to the stage.

Swan Lake Hair Pieces

The dressers stay for the entire performance. Sometimes they are needed during the show for quick costume changes. For example, during Alice In Wonderland many people were playing several different characters in one show which required quick changes. In this scenario, the dressers are back stage with us. Otherwise, they sit by our dressing rooms waiting for us to come up from the stage and to help us get out of our costumes.

Swan Lake Costumes Ready for the Evenings Show

It is a complete luxury to have such lovely colleagues helping us getting dressed and undressed. They deserve a huge round of applause for all that they do for us behind the scenes.

xoxo
-Hol