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Tag Archives: Nutcracker

  • Loving Our Colors!

    We LOVE Colors

    At Class Act Tutu we LOVE our Color Layered Romantic Tutu styles.  We have so many colors of our exquisite tulle, that your options are nearly unlimited.

    Depth, Shading & a Stunning Visual

    Layering colors adds depth and shading that changes with movement and provides an absolutely stunning performance.  We think this look works very well for your Nutcracker Ballet's Waltz of the Flowers or Snow Scene. Check out our "Rose Splendor" ensemble in action in the video below.

    Ballet Academy East, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ Waltz of the Flowers.

    Dress Up Your Barbie

    One way to easily visualize how your color choices come together is to order our ruffled swatch sets and to dress up your Barbie (or soda bottle or whatever!).

    Tutu Swatches

    Order Your Color Cards and Ruffled Swatches Today!

    The price of our Tutu Bodice & Skirt Color cards and/or our Ruffled Swatch sets is deducted from your tutu order and shipping is FREE!  Order today and plan your Nutcracker Ballet tutus!

    Ruffled Swatches

    As always, if you need any assistance, contact us at 800.820.1667 or drop us an email. We are always happy to assist you.

  • Urban Nutcracker

    We are sharing this fun post from Dustin Todd Rennells that talks about creating all new costumes for Tony Williams', Urban Nutcracker.  Enjoy!

    by Dustin Todd Rennells

    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography

    This was one of my favorite overall projects to do for Urban Nutcracker. This tutu came to us at a great price from Class Act Tutu when I begged for a good price for our amazing show. It came naked just wine and black. Through the help of numerous volunteers all the gold window panes and sequined borders were sewn on and tacked down. First is Katrina Gould as Sugar with her backup of Sugar Plum Attendants in several beautiful images by RavenWolfe Photography. Next is my original drawing of the piece that I had envisioned. This is most likely the closest to my original idea. Lastly is the tutu we had used for 6+ years. Definitely a new concept here! Sugar embodies the city of Boston, wine/brick red like the buildings with glowing lights of a city during the holidays. Thanks to Anita Handy-Velasquez, Amanda Lapham, Yara Figueroa, Molly Mclaughlin-Drubin and Judith Alvarez for their additional work to this costume and headpiece. Based on original drawings by Rebecca Cross.

    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography
    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker    Photo: RavenWolfe Photography

     

    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker    Photo: RavenWolfe Photography

     

    Concept for Urban Nutcracker's Sugarplum by Dustin Todd Rennells. Concept for Urban Nutcracker's Sugarplum by Dustin Todd Rennells.
  • Quick Tip - Let the Fabric & Trim Do the Work!

    Hand work can be delightful if you have time, but in a crunch, it may not be an option. Here is what I do:

    Find nicely embellished fabric so that little or no adornment needs to be added.
    Find fabric that needs no edge finishing (that is, no hemming).

    My favorite choice is embellished (sequined, beaded, embroidered) tulle like we used in this “Spanish” tutu design:

    RedSquarelargeTutu-813

    spanish_tutu

    To create an overlay for your skirt:

    • Cut a “donut” shape with the “hole” the measurement of the bottom of the tutu basque.
    • Choose the length of the overlay.
    • Cut an 8 inch slit at the center back.

    news-overlay

    If needed, use a coordinating trim to edge the outside of the skirt circle.  This trim can be hand stitched or machine sewn.

    news-overlay-trim

    For the bodice, cut a shape that follows the lines of the bodice. Again, if needed, outline the fabric with a co-coordinating trim.

    news-overlay-bodice

    If time and budget permit, add beads or crystals.

    news-overlay-crystals

    Tack bodice & skirt overlay in place so that it is secure but easy to remove for cleaning.

    Voila!  An elegant tutu embellishment without a lot of stitching time

  • Sightings: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's Waltz of the Flowers

    It is so fun to see what various companies do in presenting, The Nutcracker Ballet (and pretty fun to find they are wearing our tutus when doing it!).

    Aspen Santa Fe Ballet   Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

    Aspen

    In Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's Nutcracker, instead of the Land of the Sweets, Clara is brought to a beautiful turn-of-the-century carousel, complete with blinking light bulbs and vintage carousel animals.  We found this photo of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's "Flowers" wearing  Class Act Tutus posted in the Photo Essay: Nutcrackers Around the Nation Display Regional Flair from PBS.   Check Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's performance information on their website and get your tickets to see this lovely version of The Nutcracker Ballet.

    These Waltz of the Flowers Tutus feature Class Act Tutu's Scoop Neck Bodice with  a Color-Layered Romantic Tutu with Basque.  Embellishment by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Costume Shop.

    Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Time Out Magazine

    Aspen

  • Quick Tip: Easy Tutu Skirt Embellishment

     Lilac Fairy Tutu design© CJDL Design

    Make your tutu skirt embellishment easy to place and to remove by attaching it to a lovely trim!

    1. Stitch your appliqués, petals, or whatever decorative pieces you are using to some coordinating trim.  Here we have used a metallic gold.
    2. Sew or glue some gems, beads, sequins, etc.
    3. Hand stitch the trim to the bottom of the tutu basque or waistband.
    4. Tack pieces to the tutu skirt if needed.

    Voila!

    Lilac Fairy Tutu design ©CJDL Design

  • How To Make a "Sugarplum" (for your Sugarplum Fairy Tutu)

    Sugarplum

    Sugarplum

    These Sugarplums were designed and created by Christine Joly of CJDL Design for this year’s Class Act Tutu Nutcracker Sugarplum Fairy tutu design.   These decorative Sugarplums are made using a combination of heat-formed thermoplastics and glued seed and bugle beads.  They are light, sturdy, can be sewn through and are drop-dead gorgeous!

    We are going to tell you step by step how to make these beautiful "Sugarplums" and if you scroll down to the bottom of this post you will find a list of sources for everything that you need for this fun project.

    If you are interested in having your Sugarplum tutu embellished by us, you may contact us for a design quote.

    What You Will Need

    1. One “Cabochon” (oval with a flat bottom) shape
    2. A stiff cardboard template of your shape
    3. Fosshape
    4. Heat gun, steam iron, steamer, or hair dryer
    5. Craft Glue
    6. Heat Proof Work Surface (foil covered metal pan or tray)
    7. Acrylic Paint(s)

    Step 1.  Make your template.

    • Trace your cabochon and add an extra 1/8 inch around the edge.  Cut out.
    • See the middle photo in the trio of pictures below.  NOTE:  The template is just a hole. You can see the tin foil lining the tray underneath.

    Step 2.  Cut your Fosshape.

    Fosshape is a fun “thermoplastic” cloth.  It feels like felt.  Fosshape starts out flexible and moldable but stiffens when heated.  It can be heated with a steam iron, hot air gun or hair dryer set on high.  This material, once formed, maintains its shape, can be sewn or glued and is wonderful for ornamentation, headpieces, masks, props, etc.  See our “Sources” at the end for more information on this fabric and where to purchase.

    • Cut your Fosshape fabric into pieces large enough to heat set over your mold.  This material can shrink up to 30%, so make sure your pieces are large enough.

    Step 3.  Shape and Heat.

    • Working on your heat proof work surface, place a piece of the cut Fosshape over the cabochon.
    • Carefully work your way around the shape holding your heat tool 4 to 5 inches from the surface.
    • When the Fosshape becomes soft and limp, press your cut-out template down and over it. (See far right photo in row below)
    • Fosshape cools very quickly, so you will have to work fast and keep pressure applied over the form.
    Cabochon, Template, Pressed Shape

    Cabochon,

    Step 4.  Paint Your Shape

    • With acrylic paints, paint the surface and base of your stiffened Fosshape.
    Painted Shape

    Painted

    Step 5.  Glue on Beads

    • Sort your beads into containers.  Christine used lighter shades as a highlight and three “plum” tones for the body.
    Sorted Beads

    Sorted

    • You will glue your beads onto the form in increments—not all at once.
    • Begin by squeezing a strip of glue along the top of your shape.  With a spoon, pour your beads over the glued area so they cover the glue.  (HINT:  Pour right back into your container so you have less to clean up!)
    • Gently tap down with your finger so that the beads are pushed into the glue.  Have a moist cloth available to wipe your fingers.
    • Let this harden at least ½ hour.  The glue can take up to 3 hours to fully dry.
    • Repeat this with all your shapes then move onto a different area of your form until the entire surface is covered.
    • IMPORTANT: Go back over your plums and gently push the beads into the glue BEFORE the glue has completely dried.
    Glueing Beads

    Glueing

    Step 6.  Finishing

    • Trim your “Sugarplums”, wrap with decorative cording, and stitch onto your project.
    Sugarplums Applied to the Tutu

    Sugarplums

    Sources

    Here is what we used and the easiest place to purchase that we could find.  If you have source suggestions, we would love to hear from you.

    Large Glass  (Fire Mountain Gems and Beads) or Acrylic (Art Fire ) “Cabochon” shape.

    Fosshape - Richard the Thread – Here you will also find additional instructions on using Fosshape.

    Aleen’s Tacky Glue & Acrylic Paint can be found easily at most craft stores like JoAnn or Michael’s

    Stay tuned!

    Next we will learn how to make the leaves.

    Sugarplum Parts

    Sugarplum Tutu ©CJDL Design for Class Act Tutu

    Sugarplum

    Sugarplum Ombre Detail

    Sugarplum

  • Review: Growing Through Arts - The Nutcracker Ballet Story & Activity Books

    nutcracker-ballet-by-aleksaAh, The Nutcracker! It's often a child's first "real" taste of the world of ballet, inspiring many a young Sugar Plum, Clara and Nutcracker Prince!

    Now you can encourage your little one's love for this classic holiday tale with this sweet storybook from Growing Through Arts.

    The Nutcracker Ballet by Aleksandra features delightful illustrations and charming prose that are sure to please budding ballerinas and baby danseurs of all ages. This beautiful hardcover book features a generous 11x11 size (perfect for those chubby little hands!), character building questions carefully woven throughout the story to fuel further discussion, and a handy glossary which explains new terms in a clear and simple way.

    The Nutcracker Ballet Practice & Play Book is a robust 32-page activity book filled with fun mazes, printing practice, pattern recognition exercises, drawing lessons, hidden pictures and - one of the best features by far - the Nutcracker Paper Doll!

    Class Act Tutu's Testing Lab featuring Miss Avianah

    Class

    The book features standard dimensions of 8.5 x 11", colorful illustrations and a larger font making it ideal for preschoolers through 2nd grade. While the book contains plenty of stand-alone learning activities, it's designed to complement The Nutcracker Ballet storybook.

    Both the story book and activity book are written by Russian Pointe's own Aleksandra Efimova, illustrated by her sister, Elizaveta Efimova, and published under Aleksandra's latest venture, Growing Through Arts. Founded in 2010 and "inspired by the classical, world-acclaimed Russian educational system, Growing Through Arts products are infused with the philosophy that participating in the arts can have a dynamic impact on children’s careers, educations, and social lives. Our system combines a uniquely powerful set of learning elements to boost your child’s mental and emotional growth."

    Their products build on and develop:

    • Creativity and imagination
    • Confidence, leadership and character strength
    • Memory, abstract thinking, discipline, focus, and a wide range of pre-academic skills
    • Arts vocabulary and much more!

    The Nutcracker Ballet by Aleksandra & The Nutcracker Ballet Practice & Play Book offers children an insightful peek behind the curtain and brings to life Clara's world and that of her beloved Prince like never before. I was very impressed by both the quality of these items, as well as their unique ability to encourage a young child's love for dance in such a positive and insightful way. These books would make a great Christmas, birthday or "just because" gift for tiny dancers.

  • Ring in the Holiday Season with Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker

    Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Andrew Bartee as the Nutcracker in the fight scene from PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker. Photo © Angela Sterling

    Pacific

    What puts me in the "holiday spirit"? Well, stuffing myself with turkey doesn't do it. Neither does fighting my way through the crowds on Black Friday. No, what really puts me in the holiday mood is a trip to Seattle Center's McCaw Hall to watch Pacific Northwest Ballet perform its lively Stowell/Sendak production of 'Nutcracker'.

    No matter how many times I've seen it, this perennial favorite never ceases to thrill, delight and amaze me. With sets designed by Maurice Sendak and elaborate props featuring a "growing" Christmas tree, a gigantic Mouse King with sinister tail encircling the stage, to a golden boat sailing along the ocean blue, it's easy to see why Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker is ranked as one of the most beloved productions among its "nutty" peers.

    Maria Chapman and Seth Orza shined in the starring roles of Clara and her handsome Nutcracker Prince. Their final pas de deux was the fuel of dreams - effortless lifts, dazzling smiles and spot-on technique. Together they brought this storybook fantasy adventure to life and carried it all the way through. I even detected a few weeping patrons at the end of Act 2, following Chapman's tearful exit. (That's when you know you've struck that golden chord of connection with your audience! Bravo!)

    Lesley Rauch's interpretation of the Peacock was everything one could hope for - sensuous and beguiling, with a whisper of sadness in her colorful wings. Is she a prisoner? Does she want to escape? Or is she secretly content with her golden confines? If you can make me feel all that, then as far as I'm concerned, you've embodied the role of Peacock!

    Snow on stage!  Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers in the Kent Stowell/Maurice Sendak Nutcracker. Photo © Angela Sterling

    Snow

    Gorgeous port de bras and swirling tutus made many a young girl gasp during the Waltz of the Flowers with Carrie Imler as "Flora". What I love most about Imler is her innate sense of timing and control. She can go from lightening "quick-quick" turns into a deliberately slow "melt" on.a.dime! She's amazing, folks. Truly amazing.

    Whirling dervishes Jerome Tisserand, Kyle Davis and Ezra Thomson made the little boys in the audience sit up and pay attention. Their electrifying leaps, turns and jumps were perfectly executed and received a boisterous round of applause.

    And speaking of children, it just wouldn't be right NOT to mention the talent and dedication of the Pacific Northwest Ballet school students. Their roles ranged from adorable to breathtaking - from the sweet young Clara and her friendly party guests (with bouncy ringlets and big smiles for the girls and plenty of spirited hijinks from the boys), to the battling soldiers engaged in a fierce war with the creepy giant Mouse King, from the Chinese Tiger's exotic attendants to the charming Toy Theatre dancers. I think it's great to see the school students perform; they not only bring a fresh layer of excitement to the production, but they also inspire the youngest audience members in a way that polished adults cannot.

    Awesome sets, gorgeous costumes, spirited dancing, whirling snowflakes and that famous musical score - I can't think of a better way to ring in the holiday season!

    Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker runs through December 27th. Great seats are still available! Visit PNB.org for more information.

  • NYCB's 'Nutcracker' Coming to Movie Theaters

    Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik / New York City Ballet. Members of New York City ballet performing “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” in 2010.

    Photo

    The December 13th performance of New York City Ballet's production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker will be transmitted live via high definition to more than 500 movie theaters around the US.

    "In a statement, the company’s executive director, Katherine E. Brown, said City Ballet hoped it would be the “first of many” such transmissions." - The New York Times. Read more here.

  • Happy Birthday, Nutcracker!

    On this day in 1892, Tchaikovsky's & Petipa's "The Nutcracker Suite" premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia!

    Woohoo! Happy birthday to what would later become one of the world's most beloved ballets!

    {We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging...}

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