Welcome, I am happy you found my blog. I am a passionate dancer and life time ballet fan who also is the proud mom of 2 girls who happen to take after the same passion. Guess what, this blog will initially talk about ... tutus, yes that's right.

Oh ... before you read on and go exploring, please take my short poll on this page on your prefered kind of tutu. Hope to see you back soon.

Picture above obtained from
http://thedesigninspiration.com/photos/balletbird .

Copyright please see author in the original source.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Tutu construction workshops withTutu Guru Adrian Clarke at the Kangan Institute

Adrian Clarke's knowledge of tutus aesthetic and athletic pedigrees is said to be encyclopaedic. His skills and his ''The Art of the Tutu'' classes are rare enough to attract enrolments from as far away as Hong Kong and New Zealand. Well, it still is too far for me though but I would have loved to attend!

It's the construction and history of these classic tutu styles that Clarke, costume designer and craftsman for ballet companies, film and television projects, author of six volumes on the subject and founding director of the Library of Costume and Design, will teach in three workshops at Melbourne's Kangan Institute from this month.

The Art of the Tutu is at Kangan Richmond campus, Melbourne:
  • June 25 to 30 - Juponnage; 
  • July 6 to 14 - Russian Style; 
  • September 21 to 29 - English Style.

The earliest style, the Juponnage, he describes as ''long, flowing, almost a bridal look with an ethereal, floating quality.'' Its elegant composition of bodice, modesty bloomers and up to 16 layered skirts of mousseline or tulle, dominated ballets such as La Sylphide (1832) and Giselle (1841).

''Then, in the late 1870s, ballet changed, the tutu changed,'' Clarke says. The graceful, drifting movements of the Juponnage ceded to the demands of French choreographer Marius Petipa.

'''Petipa started mixing in the physicality of Italian and Russian folk dances,'' Clarke says. He demanded his company kick higher, thrust wider, dance faster.

The classic Russian and French tutus, increasingly shorter, tightly anchored by a second-skin basque and spring-coil boned corset, evolved, enabling dancers the freedom to perform Petipa's revolutionary repertoire.

Clarke illustrates the beauty of a perfect tutu. Ayane Otsuka, 18, wears a classic Russian style in black, red and gold net and lace. Clarke fluffs her stiff, almost horizontal tutu, showing how its net tiers narrow onto the carefully fitted knickers.

''This suits Paquita and its quick, sharp movements,'' he says. Meg Royle, 15, models Clarke's English style in cream and gold. Its tutu skirts are slightly flopped and belled and move with a softer, slower bounce as she dances. Finally, with a few impossibly graceful steps from Les Sylphides, Sarah Mitchell, 19, demonstrates that ethereal, floating effect Clarke described earlier, of an ice-blue Juponnage.

Video of tutu craft and classic styles with Adrian Clarke, Ayane Otsuka, Meg Royle and Sarah Mitchell.

1 comment:

  1. Watching this film, I noticed that the pale blue romantic (juponnage) tutu appears to have a ducktail at the centre back hem. Wonder why?


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