Layers of tulle, hand-beading and embroidery: there’s an art—and great expense—that goes into constructing the prized ballerina tutu, as I recently discovered whilst recording a story for RNZ National.
I popped along to the prestigious New Zealand School of Dance ahead of their graduation season to talk to costume designer, Donna Jefferis, who provides an eye into the process, while construction student, Tessa Paaymans, talks about the potential to implement some of the techniques used for tutu construction into her collection for London Fashion Week 2016.
As some of you might be aware I studied acting at Toi Whakaari:New Zealand Drama School and we shared the same building as the New Zealand School of Dance.
I clearly recall walking past the dance studios thinking, ‘if only I had gone down the dance route.’
When I went to record this story, I had exactly the same feeling…
I’m forever inspired by the dedication of dancers, along with their amazing physiques and athletic ability— if only I had the same kind of grace and commitment (this is where I look sideways and pretend that I don’t have two left feet).
I will let you in on closely guarded secret…I can do a great running man! Ahem.
I couldn’t resist chatting to a couple of students about the pros and cons of wearing a tutu, and of course, no-one ever thinks about what it’s like for the guys who have to dance while being poked in the eye with multiple layers of spiky tulle.
Dancers, Alice Beedie and Jack Whiter reveal all in the audio story below.