Call +1 (800) 820-1667

Tag Archives: Ice Blue Tutu

  • Amazing Costumes on a Budget: Savannah Arts Academy

    The Wizard of Oz, Savannah Arts Academy - Lollipop


    To kick-off our "Amazing Costumes on a Budget" series, we'd like to take a moment and introduce you to the talented Christina Powell-Dance Department Chair of the Savannah Arts Academy in Georgia. Christina knows all about creating fabulous, professional-looking costumes--without breaking the bank! When we asked if she'd be interested in sharing some of her best "trade secrets" with our readers, she eagerly accepted. So, if your dance production is in the middle of a financial bind, you might want to take a few notes. So grab a pen (or bookmark this page), and get ready to be inspired!

    Class Act: So tell us, what initially prompted you and the Savannah Arts Academy to be "beautiful on a budget"? Was this something you've always done or did the current economy have something to do with it?

    Christina Powell: Working for a public school in a dance department that is fully supported by fundraising efforts and ticket sales to productions (we receive no funding from the local or state government), we must be extremely creative with our funds. We must work around [financial] issues to be beautiful on a budget. We ask for a lot of help from local seamstresses who donate their time and sometimes even the cost of materials to create costumes for us. For tutus, we order the skirts with basques from Class Act Tutu and the matching basque fabric for the bodices. We then have parent volunteers or local costumers make the bodices for each dancer to complete the look. In addition, we sometimes work with fashion students from our local art college, Savannah College of Art and Design.

    Class Act: Are there any specific actions that you take to do this? How does it all come together?

    Christina Powell: Well, at the beginning of the year, I take inventory of our costume closet and create a list of the most wanted items that I’d like to purchase for the year. Two years ago, we ordered an entire set of white romantic tutu skirts from Class Act Tutu. This was our first big tutu purchase! In order to save money, we had the bodices made to complete the look. We used those tutus for a Swan Lake excerpt and for the Fairy Corps in Cinderella. We used them again this year for the Emerald City Corps during our ballet, "The Wizard of Oz". Each time we use the white tutus, we change the decoration to fit the part. For the Emerald City Corps, a parent volunteer added emerald tulle overlays and a gold ribbon design on the bodice. The tulle was purchased in bulk from Class Act Tutu. Outside of ordering tutus, we also order other costumes that I feel like we’ll get a lot of use out of. For example, we ordered some Rockette-like white costumes that we wore in our Winter Dance Concert. We used them again for a local holiday event in downtown Savannah. The girls dressed up as snowflakes using these same costumes. Then in, "The Love of Broadway", our final show this year, we used these costumes again with added gold accents to perform “One” from A Chorus Line. So, my advice is that you prioritize your costumes needs, determine what costumes you can get the most out of, and take baby steps each year until you create a wonderful costume closet!

    Class Act: You know, I wonder how many other dance companies will read this and think, "Hmm. Why didn't we think of that?" Now, I also heard that you re-decorate your tutus. Would you share some examples of that with us?
    The Wizard of Oz, Savannah Arts Academy - Poppies


    Christina Powell: Yes, we do this a lot! For the lollipop tutus, I ordered that set of costumes at the beginning of the year. For our Winter Dance Concert, we used those tutus for a Sleeping Beauty excerpt. Then, we redecorated them for the Lollipop Corps for Wizard of Oz. We do this for all of our tutus. We always sew decorations onto the costumes so that we can easily take them off to change the look for the next performance. Never use glue! Also, skirt overlays are a great way to add color to costumes and to completely change the original look. The skirt overlays work best on white romantic tutus.

    Class Act: Do you have any final words of advice or any "Top Tips" that you'd like to share before we close?

    Christina Powell: It is so easy to get overwhelmed with costuming needs, especially if you are just starting to build a costume closet and you’re on a budget. When I took over as the chair of the Savannah Arts Academy Department of Dance, we didn’t even own a tutu! That was two years ago. Now, we own two complete sets of romantic length tutus (a white set and a pink set), a set of euro-tutus (red for the Poppy Corps for Wizard of Oz),  four romantic tutus for the Cinderella fairies (Summer, Spring, Winter, and Autumn),  and several pancake tutus (Fairy Godmother, Mazurka lead for Cinderella, Wizard for Wizard of Oz, etc). We have already used the white tutus in four shows, and the pink tutus in two shows. The red pancake tutu has been worn for the Mazurka lead in Cinderella, the Spanish variation for Nutcracker, the Don Quixote pas de deux, and the Poppy Lead in Cinderella!  Lots of use out of the red pancake tutu! Also, the winter fairy tutu was also re-worn by Glinda the Good Witch for Wizard of Oz. The best advice I can give someone wanting to build a costume closet, is to prioritize! Think about what kinds of costumes you need for your upcoming shows. Think about what you can get the most out of. Start basic (a set of white romantic tutus is a great place to start! They are so versatile and beautiful on stage!!!), and again--take baby steps! Breathe! And most of all, have fun!

    Thank you so much, Ms. Powell! Your creative ideas are going to come in handy for so many dancers out there. We wish you and the Savannah Arts Academy continued success! If you'd like to learn more about the programs available through the Savannah Arts Academy or attend future performances, please click here.

    Denise Opper ~ Media Relations

  • Review: Pacific Northwest Ballet - All Balanchine

    The curtain rises on a formation of lithe ballerinas dressed in gauzy, icy blue. Silence fills the stage. Then suddenly the first notes of the orchestra begin and the dancers move in unison. As their right feet tendu out to second then close fifth, my heart skipped a beat and tears sprang to my eyes. This is Balanchine's Serenade. This is what ballet is all about.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet company dancers in Serenade, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling


    The crystalline nymphs (Laura Gilbreath, Ariana Lallone, Lesley Rausch) and their dashing suitors (Karel Cruz, William Lin-Yee) moved as if ushered along the wings of heaven itself. It was a truly magnificent display!

    While Serenade made me sigh in dreamy pleasure, act two's Square Dance left me grinning from ear to ear. This lively, kick-up-your-heels variation showcased the tantalizing partnership of dancers Rachel Foster and Benjamin Griffiths to perfection. Their artistic brilliance combined with their wide, infectious smiles was a hit with everyone in the audience.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Carrie Imler and Lucien Postlewaite with company dancers in Square Dance, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling


    Last but not least, was the third performance of the afternoon; The Four Temperaments. Now this was the one that left everyone cheering.

    The cast of dancers were absolutely amazing: Jordan Pacitti and Kylee Kitchens were riveting, and their exit was spectacular!

    Jonathan Poretta never ceases to amaze or gain new fans. The way he pulled out all the stops during his Melancholic variation left me craving for more.

    Then there was Seth Orza and Lesley Rausch's Sanguine Variation. As we all know, Seth's commanding presence is so captivating, it would be easy for him to unintentionally outshine his partner. Let's face it; he's that freaking good. But Rausch held her ground and gave an outstanding performance of her own. Bravo!

    Olivier Wevers and his fellow "Phlegmatics" were carefree, charming and delightful. I loved the look of the bent wrists, and how they took on a playful "primping Egyptian" feel.  Yet the real show-stopper was the fourth and final variation: Lindsi Dec's "Choleric". This young soloist attacked her role with such fervor and precision that it left me breathless. She shot out of the wings like a supernova, lighting up the stage like it was nobody's business. Her lines--those quintessential Balanchine lines--were nothing short of gorgeous.  It felt as if everything else had been purposely leading up to her entrance; the grandest of grand finales.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancers Laura Gilbreath and William Lin-Yee in The Four Temperaments, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling


    Throughout the entire performance, the dancer's faces were radiant with joy. Their bodies propelled and guided by a consuming inner fire; a fire that burns hottest when a dancer is in his/her element. Indeed, Balanchine is that element.

    Don't miss your chance to see Pacific Northwest Ballet's All Balanchine. Tickets available by visiting

2 Item(s)