After a crazy senior year at Butler, I have officially graduated with my BFA in Dance Performance. The audition season led to no dance job offers, but I was offered a job costuming in Manhattan, which I took. I will spend the rest of my summer working at home in Illinois, saving up cash and spending time with family and local friends. I have had the most profitable summer of my life so far- business has picked up, especially internationally! It's always exciting to see my pieces go out into the world. I'll also be doing a lot of packing... I just bought my one way plane ticket this afternoon, and resolved to start blogging again. I think there are a bunch of extraordinary happenings in my future and I want to share them with anyone interested in reading. Onward.
Junior year is officially off to an amazing start. I'm already working on several projects; I'm collaborating with choreographer Stuart Coleman, costuming his new work "Electric Fences". I'm also pursuing an independent study with a focus in bodice construction and fabric dyeing; as a part of this class I will be helping to construct brand new waltz of the flowers corps de ballet costumes for Butler Ballet. I'm also working on a rental Sugarplum/Cavalier set for a studio in Michigan. More to come later!
Summer 2012 has proved to be a full one thus far! After school ended, I headed home for a few weeks and then to my first ever guesting job, doing Firebird and Petrouchka for a music festival dance company. My experience here has been... long (12+hour days in studio), but we have been able to put togethe two full ballets in less than a week with dancers from all over the world. Being in these shows has given me quite a few ideas of how I would costume them, so I've been sketching in my breaks. I always keep colored pencils with me! (Granted, they're a mini box of six colors meant for kids to use in restaurants, but they're good nonetheless!) After I'm done here, it's off to NYC. Can't wait!
Hi kids- once again, it's Nutcracker opening!! Production week has gone well thus far. Butler's costume mistress has been sick for several days, and in her absence I've been taking over. YIKES! but good yikes; I've been able to get a TON done. We open tonight and I think I will actually have time to finish everything for once! I was completely burned out before thanksgiving break, but after getting to go home for a week I am back and I feel like I have my energy levels back up. I can keep positive now (definitely was not feeling so great before the break-- it's amazing what sleep deprivation can do to a person...). Come see the show! Butler Ballet presents the Nutcracker at Clowes Memorial Hall. = ]
Hi all-- Ok, so if you haven't already heard, the choreographer of Flowers this year has decided against the tutu decor that I did, opting instead for something more like the soloist tutus... which are bare. I will be leaving them plain until after the break, when I'll actually have time to get some work done on them. I am not offended that my costume design is not liked; I do, however, wish that I had been told this before I spent all of my time on them. Though honestly, if this is the worst thing that happens in my week, my life is good. = ]
Hi all- Studio dress is fast approaching and as such I've pretty much been living in the costume shop for the last week or so. I have gotten SO much accomplished! Some of the casting was swapped around for Nutcracker, so I had to turn some parts of a Sugar Plum bodice from their previous blue into gold; I ended up edging all the blue parts in gold, which masks their real color. I also had to hope that the over skirt I had already done (made for a larger tutu) could be made to accommodate a smaller circumference. The decor which originally ended up three inches from the outer edge of the skirt ended up right on the line! *phew!* I got both Sugarplums done last week and seeing them on the dancers was awesome for me. I also finished the first cast of both Snow Queen and Dew Drop; the Snow Queen is just exquisite. I was originally going to use a silver and white lace but I happened upon this beautiful bluish-white glitter lace with a scalloped edge that was entirely too perfect. I ended up about two feet short; I split the difference between the two skirts and found the same lace in pink, which was then dyed more of a purplish color and then painted over with white. You can hardly tell that it is different and I think the stage lights will eliminate the remaining differences. I put all of this onto two layers of tulle- one of silver glittered flecks under another of light blue. When I look at it it glistens faintly, like fresh snow before anyone's walked on it. Love it. Dewdrop came out well. I used parts of the old (rather bare) over skirt and worked them into a larger and more detailed plate. The color palate (red and purple) would not have been my first choice, however, as I started working with it more, I came to realize that it reminded me of a Poinsettia; what more perfect flower could there be for this holiday ballet? With that in mind, I added a few other details in an effort to make it look more leafy; after all, it's the leaves of the poinsettia that are the most glorious to look at. I found out yesterday that I will be doing the Snow Princesses (Demi-soloists in the snow scene) as well; they will not be done for studio dress on Saturday, but we have a second dress run on Tuesday and maybe I can get at least one done. Principals come first though- I have about four more hours of work on them and then I can continue on!
Hi all- I've been doing a TON of work on my more recent projects, the Dewdrop and Sugar Plum tutus for Butler Ballet. It has been both challenging and entertaining to work with limited materials (the shop has spent about $3 total, for some hot glue sticks) because it pushes me creatively. I'm trying to incorporate elements from the corps, soloist, and cavalier costumes for the Dewdrop tutu; on their own, none of these quite go together and it's up to the Dewdrop to serve as the link between them. I even found these perfect, tiny light blue rhinestones in teardrop shapes; they are exactly right for drops of dew. The Sugar Plum tutus have also posed specific problems to be solved; I am trying to make them so that they will not be scratchy and painful for the men to partner during the pas de deux, so I'm working with mixing several different laces to create texture and elegance. I was also asked to do the third set of principal tutus, the Snow Queens. I have seen lots and lots of gorgeous white tutus for Snow, but very few of them really read as inherently regal, icy and cold. I want to do these based on the images I've seen of frost on windowpanes; something about the geometry of the ice makes them seem all the more commanding. I found a white and silver lace that I will use to edge the circumference of the skirts, much like the snow that clings to the edges of a window frame. This show is giving me such a huge opportunity to do work on a level I have not done before, in terms of taking ownership of a tutu (or...6). I've worked on some before, but never entirely out of my own head. I'm loving the chances I have to learn.
Hey everybody-- I'm back to school! I'm starting my duties this year as the Treasurer of the Dance Fraternity, Sigma Rho Delta. I'm also taking the max number of classes for credit; my schedule is really busy but I wouldn't have it any other way. This summer I was able to accomplish quite a bit, including teach a dance workshop! It was really rewarding for me to work with such a talented group. I met up for lunch with Karl when I got back, and he seems to be doing very well. I'm taking Dance Costuming this year as a dance elective and so I'll be getting course credit for the work I do. My big project for Nutcracker: the Dewdrop and Sugar Plum Tutus! YAY! I'm excited to get to work on these costumes because I absolutely love doing tutu overlays. Our Nutcracker casting here at BU will hopefully go up soon; the seniors put up a fake cast list today and appropriately I was Kegan's understudy in the "Waltz of the Tutus", among other things. I'll update as things get rolling!
Hey everyone! So, school finished up with a lovely ending, and then I headed home to help with the Champaign Urbana Ballet's sleeping Beauty. I mostly did last minute fixes and helped with quick changes, though I did design eight bodice appliques for Aurora's attendants (those seem to follow me everywhere, don't they?) on the night before opening night. I took a few weeks to be lazy at home and take class every night, then headed off to New York City with a friend of mine. IT WAS AMAZING! I was surrounded by inspiration, 24/7. I also was privileged enough to see ABT 3 times- Cojocaru is a brilliant performer and possibly the greatest ballerina of our time. She's the whole package. I also visited the Guggenheim- they had a special exhibit of Kandinsky works (one of my favorite artists!). Those, along with the works of Franz Marc, definitely made me want to go home and paint. I'm hoping to sell a lot of works this summer- as always, feel free to inquire about any piece photographed on this sight. Most of the beadwork is for sale, though the pointe shoes all have homes. Ask if you want me to do something!
Opening night is tomorrow for BB's Sleeping Beauty! I've actually had some time to relax during this production week, since the big push was before studio dress. Two Jimmy John's sandwiches and the thought of a short trip home for Easter got me through those 24 Dryad headpieces, YAY! I also got done with chokers for Aurora's attendants, jeweling up Carabosse's headpiece, and making up a new set of crowns for the court gentlemen as well as helping out another dancer with head wear for the court ladies in act 3. I even got recognition from several of the teachers-- even a small thank you was plenty enough and really made my day. Seeing Karl's sets go up and be used is really spectacular; the man is a genius and I was very lucky to work for him. During the warm-up class today, I was waiting in the wings for my group to go and Karl showed up with a massive piece of chocolate cake for me... That was the nicest thing that's happened to me in a while and I love him even more for it! The opening show is tomorrow and I really think we've got a great production going on here. COME SEE IT! = ]