Oooooh! Costume fittings are the best!! I think it is so much fun when you are called to one. It is the time where you get that first sneak peek of what you’ll be wearing on stage! It makes it all the more real and exciting!
We are so lucky at the Royal Danish Ballet, because we have absolutely the most talented costume department and the nicest, hands down. The men and women that work in the costume department are absolutely sweethearts. They care so much about the dancers and you can feel it when you are with them trying on their beautiful creations. I’m a huge, HUGE fan of the costume department.
When you get called for a costume fitting, your name will be written on the schedule. (My name is written in red, along with the time I am called on the schedule to the left.) The fittings are usually pretty quick (around 5-10 min.) but it does depend on if you are trying on a costume, that has already been made or one that is being created for the first time.
When you try on a costume, that has already been made, many times it was made on someone else. We keep costumes for years! Which is cool when you try on a costume, that has a name of a past ballerina that you admire! Legend- wear! The costume department comes prepared, as they’ve taken the time to figure out, who’s measurements are the closest to yours and pulled that costume for you to try on. Then, only slight alterations are needed.
When you are called for a costume fitting for a brand new ballet, that has all new costumes, then it will take a bit longer. Anywhere from ten minutes to two hours. When a fitting takes a long time, it is usually because the designer is able to be at the fitting. Therefore more ideas are discussed and bounced back and forth. It’s actually pretty cool to witness their artistic thought process about their creations.
I recently was called to a fitting for the up and coming World Premiere of, Karen Blixen. Choreography by Gregory Dean. Scenography and costume design by Jon Morrell. Music by Claude Debussy. Composer and musical arrangement by Martin Yates. It is very exciting!
You go to the costume department at the time you are called and meet one of the seamstresses. They will help you get dressed and then they start pinning! Pinning everything. A waist that needs to go in, a hem that needs to be shortened, a sleeve that needs to be attached, a neckline lowered… the list of possibilities goes on and on.
I’m usually quite chatty at costume fittings. 🙂 It’s a nice, ten minute break from rehearsal, where I get to share stories of my summer, or show lots of pictures of my cat. (Guilty)
Once they are done pinning, they help you slip out of the costume without piercing yourself and off you go, back in to rehearsal.
The costume department is a magical place where all the beauty is created. I love them. Best “coffee break” anyone could ask for.