Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Glitter & Glamor of Ballet- Tutu Splendor

A tutu is a skirt worn as a costume in a ballet performance, often with attached bodice. It might be single layer, hanging down, or multiple layers starched and jutting out.

There are several types of ballet tutu:

Romantic Tutu: three quarter length bell shaped skirt made of tulle. The hemline falls between the knee and the ankle. The romantic tutu is free flowing to emphasise lightness, to suit the ethereal quality of the romantic ballets such as Giselle or Les Sylphides. It is said to have been invented, or at least popularized, by Marie Taglioni.

Classical Tutu(bell): A very short, stiff skirt made with layers of netting with a slight bell shape and fitted bodice. It extends outwards from the hips and does not use a wired hoop. It is usually longer than a classical (pancake) tutu. These can be seen in the famous ballet paintings by Degas.

Classical Tutu (pancake): A very short, stiff skirt made with layers of netting that extends straight outwards (from the hips) in a flat pancake shape, and has a fitted bodice. The pancake style has more layers of net and usually uses a wire hoop and much hand tacking to keep the layers flat and stiff.

Balanchine/Karinska Tutu: also known as the "powder puff" is a very short skirt with no hoops, and fewer layers of netting than the pancake or classical styles. The skirt is loosely tacked to give a softer, fuller appearance. This style was designed originally for the ballet version of Georges Bizet's Symphony in C.

Platter Tutu: A tutu with a flat top that sticks straight out from the ballerina's waistline.

Here are a few video clips that i found, about Tutu:-

1) A documentary short on the recreation of tutus for George Balanchine's "Theme and Variations". New York City Ballet is fortunate to have their own costume shop, where they are able to refurbish, maintain, and even design and create new costumes from scratch.

2) Ballet Tutu- There's no other garment like it in history. Judith Mackrell meets the Royal Ballet's dancers to discuss the perils of wearing the ballerina's fabulously frothy skirt.

3) Here is rare glimpse inside The Australian Ballet's huge wardrobe storage facility in Kensington, Victoria, where 'Manon' costumes are being packed for performances of the ballet.

4) Pacific Northwest Ballet's The Seasons-Costume Preview

Read more about Ballet Companies Wardrobe:-


  1. OMG! I loved it all. So magical and enchanting. This concludes it; I love ballet! Beautiful post!

  2. Thank you! Hope you come back and read more of my updates!

  3. Very interesting and takes you to those wonderful little details that make art and all those artists involved in its creation come alive. Thank you.