It was an absolute dream to visit The Boston Ballet for a behind the scenes look at the new costumes and production opening on November 23.
What a marvel to view the craft and intricate handiwork of the costumes in the costume shop and speak to costume shop manager Charles Heightchew. 2,000 yards of net and tulle along with cottons, silks and linens were some of the materials used, with extensive hand painting (award-winning costume designer Robert Perdziola hand tipped every Sugar Plum and Snow Queen tutu with metallic paint) and jewels (as many as 200,000) individually sewn on with 3,600 jewels alone for the Sugar Plum's and Dew Drop's costumes.
The creative team wanted to keep the dancers' silhouettes streamlined and control the color palette in Act I in an early 19th century inspired way. Act II showcases a burst of color as we saw during the dress rehearsal, where the costumes were tested for the very first time.
Creative Director Mikko Nissinen tells us that the set design was inspired by "18th century Prague with the use of flats with everything hand-painted to incredible detail and resembling a puppet theatre". As the play goes on, layers of of the story unfold, irising out of one another.
Robert Perdziola on Mikko Nissinen:
"We needed a strong Captain and needed to abide by that. Mikko is the Captain!"
It was a magical day at the ballet; very Degas-esque for me! I can't wait for what promises to be an extravanganza of a production, the biggest show the Boston Ballet has built in over a decade!
The Nutcracker runs from November 23 - December 30 at the Boston Opera House. For tickets visit BostonBallet.org