The National Museum of Denmark - Tulle & Tricot
- Costumes for the Bournonville Ballets
Ana and Mary, this is an exhibit that you definitely need to see as it's
brilliantly put together.
It's housed in one large, strikingly lit room, with the costumes on tailor's
dummies (just torso and arms) suspended from the ceilings. This allows the
whole costumes to be visible as the dummies twist in any breeze and the
exhibit to be spacious. In a neat touch, a series of slyphide costumes from
"La Sylphide" are hung in a row, climbing from floor to ceiling. It would
have been nice to be able to get closer to some of the costumes, but they
probably wanted to keep the older ones out of touching distance.
Each costume is labeled with ballet, designer and the dancer(s) who wore it,
and range from the 40s to the present day. I found it intriguing how many
of the costumes had been worn by just one dancer because I know that in
companies like the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre,
costumes re rebuilt for different dancers many times until they are worn
out, so often they are worn by many dancers.
I suspect here that at the Royal Danish ballet, the ballets have been in the
repertory for so long, dancers stay in the company for so long and the roles
are done by so few dancers, that costumes are likely to wear out or be
replaced by a newer design before a dancer leaves.
It was particularly interesting for me to view the older costumes, as I've
seen most of the current ones up close many times, either on the dancers or
on the costume rack in the hall. To see costumes worn by the likes of
Henning Kronstam, Kirsten Simone, Flemming Ryberg, Eva Kloborg, Lise la Cour
is amazing. And also it was intriguing to examine the detailing and to see
and compare the sizes of the costumes.
Along the walls were photos from various ballets and costumes sketches of
various productions of the ballets. It's fascinating to see how the designs
have evolved over the course of the century - it seems like the trend is
towards more simplicity. Not that the costumes are any less intricate, but
more modern materials.
One whole side of the room was given over to a movie screen with clips from
four Bournonville ballets (current casts) being played. The clips are well
edited and in parts slowed down so you can really see the steps. Having
seen "Napoli" just two nights before, the clip from Napoli was my favorite!
There's an accompanying paperback guide for around $7/£4, which is well
http://www.kgl-teater.dk/dkt2002/bourno ... ndex2.html