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Wardrobe malfunctions


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#1 canbelto

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:46 AM

I recently rewatched "Portrait of Giselle" and one of the most enchanting parts of the documentary was Tamara Karsavina, recalling as if it was yesterday, how during one performance her strap slipped off her shoulder, thus exposing herself. She recalls Pavlova going up to her and attacking her and she says, "Naturally, I cried." So that was obviously an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction, to quote Janet Jackson.
But has anyone ever seen any other wardrobe malfunctions? Shoes that flew off, skirts getting ripped, etc?

#2 bart

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:38 AM

Great topic. I'm looking forward to the responses. Although I've seen the usual amount of buttock exposure (when the tulle gets stuck on the headpiece after a big lift or fishdive), malfunctioning capes (Don Q especially), sliding wigs (Nutcracker Act I party scene), and problems with the removal of veils in Giselle Act II and the Kingdom of the Shades scene in Bayadere , I can't think of specific performance examples. :wallbash:

#3 zerbinetta

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:47 AM

Not exactly a wardrobe malfunction, perhaps more of a dancer malfunction: Kevin McKenzir in the last scene of a Romeo & Juliet at ABT schlepping Juliet about while still wearing his tatty pale blue wooly long legwarmers. I could see the pills from 15th row orchestra. This was captured for all time as the performance was filmed.

Richard Schaefer once came out in his shorter red warmers for his variation as the bullfigher in Don Q.

#4 koshka

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:03 PM

During a Boston Ballet performance of An American in Paris, at the end, when they all walk across the stage from one side to the other and back again (the departure scene, I guess), one dancer appeared in enormous sweatpants. Didn't seem to be part of the costume, but...the costumes were varied. Sure enough, that dancer disappeared into the wings and the sweatpants disappeared before the dancer made the second trip across the stage.

This year at the Washington Ballet Nut, the female Arabian dancer's top came completely unfastened in the back. They adapted the choreography a bit on the fly as the top hung in place ok when dancer was upright, but...oh my.

The torn hems, sliding headpieces, etc. are too numerous to count.

#5 canbelto

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:11 PM

Considering how many wigs are used in ballets, has anyone seen a wig fly off during a performance? Or hair extensions?

#6 richard53dog

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:18 PM

Not exactly a wardrobe malfunction, perhaps more of a dancer malfunction: Kevin McKenzir in the last scene of a Romeo & Juliet at ABT schlepping Juliet about while still wearing his tatty pale blue wooly long legwarmers.


Actually, they were sweatpants and they were very loose and baggy. And they became more shapeless during the short scene.

I wondered why that all came to pass. When McKenzie came out for his curtain call, he was wearing tights.
So why could he make a quick costume change for the calls but not a little earlier for the last scene? You would think they could hold the curtain or at least keep the tomb scene dark until everyone was set , costume wise

#7 carbro

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 02:22 PM

When McKenzie came out for his curtain call, he was wearing tights.

So why could he make a quick costume change for the calls but not a little earlier for the last scene?

Number one: Romeo, once in the crypt, has no chance to escape to the wings until the final curtain has fallen. He finds Juliet, flings off his cape (when we discover the sweats :wallbash: ), dances with her "corpse", stabs himself and dies.
Number two: As a live broadcast, I don't think even the quickest-witted stage manager (or whoever handles these things) would have thought to drop the curtain and restart -- or pick up -- the scene.

Edited by carbro, 20 February 2007 - 08:00 PM.


#8 aurora

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 04:05 PM

Not exactly a wardrobe malfunction, perhaps more of a dancer malfunction: Kevin McKenzir in the last scene of a Romeo & Juliet at ABT schlepping Juliet about while still wearing his tatty pale blue wooly long legwarmers. I could see the pills from 15th row orchestra. This was captured for all time as the performance was filmed.

Richard Schaefer once came out in his shorter red warmers for his variation as the bullfigher in Don Q.


hahah! I remember that. I taped it. Somehow its gone missing--but I do hope to find it some time.
I'd like to find it, not only for the entertainment value, but it was also a lovely performance (gaff notwithstanding)

#9 vipa

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 07:08 PM


Not exactly a wardrobe malfunction, perhaps more of a dancer malfunction: Kevin McKenzir in the last scene of a Romeo & Juliet at ABT schlepping Juliet about while still wearing his tatty pale blue wooly long legwarmers.


Actually, they were sweatpants and they were very loose and baggy. And they became more shapeless during the short scene.

I wondered why that all came to pass. When McKenzie came out for his curtain call, he was wearing tights.
So why could he make a quick costume change for the calls but not a little earlier for the last scene? You would think they could hold the curtain or at least keep the tomb scene dark until everyone was set , costume wise


Didn't he probably have the sweatpants on over his tights? He probably forgot to take them off for the scene but took them off for the curtain call.

This makes me wonder how he, as director, feels about dancers who make similar mistakes.

#10 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 07:53 PM

He wasn't the Artistic Director yet. IMO, he should have left the leggies on. "That's what we intended all along!" :clapping:

And on the same hand, it didn't do him any damage in the long run, now did it? (Yeah, it was funny.)

#11 carbro

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 08:09 PM

I doubt he considered it a good career move at the time. I wonder if that was the reason the performance was never released on video.

OTOH, as AD, he probably personally conducts detailed costume inspections in advance of every act of every ballet.

Other mishaps: Judy Fugate's bodice seam splitting wide open in Cortege Hongrois (she was in the corps at the time). That was stitched up between entrances -- quick work!

Cheryl Yeager's triumphant debut as Kitri, in the Act III pas fishdive drop, her tights caught on Peter Fonseca's costume, leaving a big hole on her calf.

Stacy Cadell's ribbons unraveling and performing a dance of their own when she was leading Chaconne's pd5, with all that petite batterie.

Dan Duell's shoe slipped off his foot -- I forget which ballet -- and he crisply kicked it into the wing.

#12 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:38 AM

patrick dupond and francoise legree in the late 70s in a gala performance in chicago in the pas de deux from the 2nd act of giselle, in which the ribbons on one of her pointe shoes gradually undid themselves.

#13 scherzo

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:11 AM

I'm sure that in the film of the Bolshoi's Raymonda with Bessmertnova, one of the Act III pd2 corps dancers' tiaras falls off. Filmed, and released, for posterity, at the Bolshoi, no less. :clapping:

#14 Kanawha

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 05:32 AM

I was attending a performance of the Paris Opera Ballet in the eighties at Wolf Trap. They were doing Nureyev's "Swan Lake" on a very hot, muggy summer's night. Sylvie Guillem was mesmerizing everyone as Odile when her sequinned black swan bodice split down the side as Nureyev was spinning her. He looked only mildley alarmed when he saw what happened and she danced to the wings and shortly reappeared in a very basic, not so glamorous black tutu that was still passable as a swan costume.

That wardrobe malfunction made the night even more hot and muggy for the male contingent in the audience. At least that's what my husband told me. I was amazed they were able to find a replacement costume so fast! (Sigh...I miss the top ballet companies at Wolf Trap these days.)

#15 richard53dog

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:39 AM

In the January 2006 run of Swan Lakes at NYCB, I caught the second performance of Sofiane Sylve as O/O.
The buzz from the first performance was that her Odile was very showy and virtuostic (multiple turns, etc)

When it came to the BS pdd coda, she seemed distracted. The fouette's slowed down.

All of a sudden, about 3/4 way through the turns, part of her crown detacted from her head and went flying.
I thought, maybe she had some inkling it was coming loose!


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