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Theatre Costume

1966 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

With its tight fitting, low-cut, sleeveless bodice and horizontal skirt sticking out from the hips, the ballet tutu is the iconic costume for the ballerina. Designers, however, have often conjured up costumes which stretch the boundaries of the conventions. This costume for George Balanchine's ballet Bugaku, designed and made by Barbara Karinska, retains the overall traditions while adding enough reference, especially in the lacquered wig and kimono sleeves, to link it to the overall Japanese theme.

Most tutu skirts are composed of layers of net, but for Bugaku, Karinska devised a skirt of linked 'petals', each the depth of the skirt and highlighted by a rhinestone. The overall effect is much harder than the traditional tutu but is in keeping with the intellectually rigorous Balanchine choreography. The costume was worn in the wedding scene of the ballet with a long, diaphanous cloak; for the second scene, the tutu was removed to reveal the briefest of bikinis.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Theatre Costume
  • Dance Costume
  • Tutu
  • Theatre Costume
  • Dance Costume
  • Wig
  • Theatre Costume
  • Dance Costume
  • Tights
Brief Description
Costume for the leading female dancer in George Balanchine's ballet Bugaku, New York City Ballet, 1966.
Credit line
Given by Cecil Beaton
Object history
Costume for the leading female dancer worn by Suzanne Farrell in George Balanchine's ballet Bugaku, first performed by the New York City Ballet at the City Center of Music and Drama, New York on 20 March 1963. The costumes were designed by Barbara Karinska.



Allegra Kent created the leading role and Suzanne Farrell, whose name appears in part of the cosutme, danced the lead in 1966.



The costume was given by the designer to Cecil Beaton, who gave it to the museum for inclusion in the Cecil Beaton Collection. Along with other Bugaku costumes given by Karinska, it was transferred to the collections of the V&A Theatre Museum in 1975.
Summary
With its tight fitting, low-cut, sleeveless bodice and horizontal skirt sticking out from the hips, the ballet tutu is the iconic costume for the ballerina. Designers, however, have often conjured up costumes which stretch the boundaries of the conventions. This costume for George Balanchine's ballet Bugaku, designed and made by Barbara Karinska, retains the overall traditions while adding enough reference, especially in the lacquered wig and kimono sleeves, to link it to the overall Japanese theme.



Most tutu skirts are composed of layers of net, but for Bugaku, Karinska devised a skirt of linked 'petals', each the depth of the skirt and highlighted by a rhinestone. The overall effect is much harder than the traditional tutu but is in keeping with the intellectually rigorous Balanchine choreography. The costume was worn in the wedding scene of the ballet with a long, diaphanous cloak; for the second scene, the tutu was removed to reveal the briefest of bikinis.
Bibliographic References
  • Strong, Roy, Ivor Guest, Richard Buckle, Sarah C. Woodcock and Philip Dyer, Spotlight: four centuries of ballet costume, a tribute to the Royal Ballet, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1981.
  • New York City Ballet by Peter Williams, John Percival, and Noel Goodwin. Article in Dance & Dancers, London, June 1963, pp. 16-19.
Collection
Accession Number
S.387 to B-1985

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record createdSeptember 23, 2004
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