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Tag Archives: American Ballet Theatre

  • The Romantic Tutu Skirt

    While ballet tutus can take on many forms, when most people hear the word “tutu” they envision the ethereal Romantic style tutu skirt.  In honor of its timeless beauty, we would like to take a moment and share a little bit about this classic tutu style.

    The Romantic Era of Ballet

    The Romantic Tutu made its debut during the early to mid-19th century, a time in which “romanticism” in art and literature held great influence over the creation of new ballets. By many historical accounts, the Romantic period is considered to have begun with the 1827 Paris debut of La Sylphide where the Romantic Tutu skirt was first worn by Marie Taglioni.

    Marie Taglioni, La Sylphide wearing the first Romantic Tutu Marie Taglioni, La Sylphide wearing the first Romantic Tutu

    Many of these Romantic Ballet stories told tales of conflict between man and nature, society and the supernatural.  This era put the ballerina center stage “floating” on the tip of a toe in the forms of sylphs (La Sylphide), wilis (Giselle), and other ghostly spirits—who enslaved the hearts and senses of mortal men.

    Carlotta Grisi, 1841 as Giselle Carlotta Grisi, 1841 as Giselle

    The Romantic Tutu Skirt

    Due to this marked supernatural influence, the second act of these Romantic ballets (representing the spirit realm) began to be called the “white act” or “ballet-blanc”.  The corresponding costume was an elegant white skirt made of layers upon layers of tulle (fine netting). This other-worldy white skirt was what we’ve come to know as the Romantic Tutu Skirt.  This ghostly vision was enhanced with new developments in theater effects such as gas lighting (that could be dimmed), posing en pointe, and the use of wires to make dancers “fly”.

    What is a Romantic Tutu Skirt?

    Romantic Tutus are long, floating and ethereal.  They are usually 3-5 layers of soft tulle.  These soft layers can begin at the waist (Romantic Tutu) or fall from the high hip for a dropped waist look (Romantic Tutu with Basque).

    At Class Act Tutu, we LOVE romantic tutu skirts.  From the famous classic white to today’s vivid, colorful layers, we have the skill and ingenuity to create the tutu of your dreams!  We encourage you to put one on and get busy enslaving hearts!

    From Vail International Dance Festival, International Festival of Dance II, Giselle, August 4, 2012.  From Vail International Dance Festival, International Festival of Dance II, Giselle, August 4, 2012.
  • ABT's Misty Copeland Visits Her Hometown

    20120209__mistylb_500Copeland is only the third black soloist with the prestigious dance company and the first in two decades. Her goal, she says, is to become the first black principal dancer for a major U.S. ballet company.

    It's a heady goal, but Copeland has been wowing observers ever since she wandered into a weekly ballet class at the San Pedro Boys and Girls Club as a teenager.

    Read about Copeland's visit here. Don't forget to check out the awesome photo gallery!

  • ABT's Med Team Keeps Dancers Balanced

    Julie Daugherty working on Melanie Hamrick. Photo by Susie Morgan


    "Dance medicine is a relatively new field, pioneered by those who dared to understand the art form, to unravel its idiosyncratic aesthetics and its effects on the human body."

    As every dancer knows, keeping your body - or rather, your instrument - in top shape and injury-free requires more than attending daily class. Read how ABT is keeping its dancers in top condition with help from its highly trained medical staff...

  • Ethan Stiefel & Gillian Murphy to Wed

    Photo credit: James Whitehill


    Okay, ladies...get ready to swoon! During American Ballet Theatre's gala this past Monday evening, Ethan Stiefel got down on bended knee and proposed to his long-time lady love, Gillian Murphy! {Psst... she said YES!}

    We think this photo says it all, don't you? ;) Congratulations, you two crazy love birds!

  • Catching Up with ABT's Kelley Boyd

    Kelley Boyd / American Ballet Theatre


    Very few people can claim to report to work as a ballerina. But Kelley Boyd can... Check out this fun albeit brief encounter with one of ABT's rising stars! (You can listen to the audio or read the transcript - your choice!) :)

  • Cynthia Gregory Keeps Dancers on their Toes

    Photo Credit: Virginia Trudeau


    Here's an outstanding interview with former prima ballerina, Cynthia Gregory. Gregory, who spent more than 25 years with American Ballet Theatre, currently works with Nevada Ballet Theatre and directs the Cynthia Gregory Center for Coaching. "Coaching is what I do best. People would ask me to help them with a role when I stopped dancing. They'd commission me to do that. Teaching has to do with the basics of class and technique. I'm much more interested in helping a 'finished' dancer when they're looking at a role ... it's like finding your voice." ~ Quote: Cynthia Gregory for the SF Chronicle. Read more...

  • American Ballet Theatre Performs "Company B"

    American Ballet Theatre dancers in "Company B," a retro-themed work that is effervescent, but not simply an exercise in nostalgia. Photo Credit: Rosalie O' Connor


    “A tribute to the generation that fought in World War II, “Company B” takes its title from an accompanying big band medley by the Andrews Sisters. Their sassy “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” was a hit in 1941; the bugle boy was drafted again a half-century later, in 1991, when Taylor made his dance a wake-up call for audiences.

    "There is this overriding enthusiasm, constantly bubbling to the surface,” says Patrick Corbin, the celebrated Taylor dancer who staged the work for ABT. Snapping fingers and jazzy articulations give “Company B” its period feel. What gives it lasting impact, though, is its depiction of young people gaily showing a brave face to tragedy. ~

    {I now have a sudden urge to hear, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", what about you? :) } Further details about this "modern classic" can be found here.

  • Kevin McKenzie of ABT Guest Coaches Orlando's 'Giselle'

    Kevin McKenzie, artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, works with Orlando Ballet dancers Patric Palkens and Katia Garza.


    Perhaps you could call the 2010-11 ballet season the "Year of Giselle". Many companies across the country are breathing new life into this haunting classic! In this article, "Kevin McKenzie, artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, has been looking in on rehearsals for “Giselle” as he visits the company led by his friend Robert Hill, an alumnus of American Ballet Theatre." (....) Read the article here.

  • ABT's Nutcracker T-Shirt Design Contest

    Sketch by Richard Hudson. Copyright 2010 Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.


    Calling all young artists! Here's your chance to make your mark on the dance world! 

    American Ballet Theatre invites young artists, ages 4-17, to design a T-shirt inspired by ABT’s World Premiere production of The Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, from December. 22 – January 2, 2011.  For detailed contest information including submission dates, please click here!

  • ABT's José Manuel Carreño Announces Retirement

    Photo Credit: Erin Baiano for The New York Times


    I wish it wasn't true folks, but alas--it is. {Insert deep, heaving sigh here.}

    The spectacular American Ballet Theatre principal has announced that he will retire in August 2011. More details can be found here.

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