innopac

"Taco-ing" a tutu

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On BT4D they describe folding tutus like tacos when dancers travel.

However, there is also a thread on how to get a young dancer to stop "taco-ing" her tutu. Does "taco-ing" mean damaging the wire in a pancake tutu by bending it?

When they describe folding tutus for travel are they referring to a different kind of tutu? (Not a pancake tutu)

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Cooked tacos are generally served folded twice, in half & then quarters. Like paratha, the Indian bread.

Someone else will have to answer your other questions.

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I think they are referring to the practice of lifting the sides of a tutu while one is wearing it. This would cause the tutu to lose its shape--the front and back would droop. I'm not entirely certain, though.

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I was wondering if the offender was guilty of letting her arms dangle, causing the sides of the tutu to droop. Then I had an idea :flowers: : I went to the thread innopac linked and -- well -- asked!

Check back there for a reply. They're really very nice over there. :thumbsup:

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I pictured a hard taco shell, which looks like the letter "U". So the description of picking up the tutu by the sides made sense to me.

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I've seen what happens when a tutu was folded like a hard taco shell for travel--it never quite unfolded in time for the performance so the sides did droop and the back stuck up more than was normal. Don't know how much the audience noticed--they still cheered the performance--but it must have felt strange for the dancer and her partner.

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I guess I always assumed they had boxes like pizza boxes for transporting tutus. One lives and learns. :huh:

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Almost, except for the shape, bart. They are big round garment bags into which one or more tutus go. These do get folded (like tacos) because of traveling room contraints, but they should be laid flat as soon as one's destination is reached. Because of the fragility of the tutus, they should be carry-on luggage on airplanes. There is a large strap with which you can sling the bag over your shoulder. Most important is to get one that fits the tutu(s) (some have straps inside to keep the tutu from moving around) and aren't too large. You can imagine what sliding around inside the bag can do to the edges and underlayers.

Tutus are precious cargo! Also, once donned, they should never be sat down in.

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Tutus are precious cargo! Also, once donned, they should never be sat down in.

And especially not on the floor in the wings.........

are you listening, ladies?

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This is fascinating. You all are making tutus seem so very, very fragile. How do they survive people actually dancing in them, performance after performance? Not to mention contact with partners during lifts, turns, embraces, etc.?

Confession: I guess my old idea that tutus are sturdy comes from 4 years of observing two of them hanging in various locations around one of the studios where I take class. I assume they are used for practice. They're slightly soiled and a little beaten up, but they are still in shape and have the look of survivors.

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Before he left for the other coast, Peter Boal in a NYCB seminar (?) cited the excellent partnering skills of Jock Soto and Jared Angle, specifically noting that they never smooshed (my word, possibly not his) their partners' tutus. It's an important aspect that most of the audience probably never considers. I didn't, but I do now.

Tutus are precious cargo! Also, once donned, they should never be sat down in.

And especially not on the floor in the wings.........

are you listening, ladies?

All those photos of tutu-ed dancers sitting by the rosin box ... :wink:

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You'd be surprised at how dirty (in some cases, filthy) some tutus are, yes, even in professional companies. They get sweated in during each performance and get cleaned maybe once a season -- if at all. Sometimes the perspiration is so imbued in the material that it leaves a permanent stain. And then there's the altering -- the repositioning of hooks and eyes, the tightening strings and elastic shoulder straps; retacking the underpinning threads that connect the layers; the taking in under the arms or in the bodice, or the letting out of darts and folds -- to accommodate different dancers over the life of the costume. Some companies don't have a dedicated costume mistress or master, so there is not that fussy tutu person breathing down each dancer's neck, watching their every move in the tutu.

Years ago, I had the privilege of steaming the wrinkles out of Anna Antonicheva's Act I Giselle romantic dress (the usual white with blue sash that most Giselles wear). After my utter amazement at the teensy-tiny size of the waist and bodice, I proceeded to try to put some life into the garment. The white part was gray with wear, the bottom edge of the dress frayed, the blue at the bodice more dusty than you could imagine. And was it ever wrinkled, having traveled from Moscow. That's why I was given the job of trying to revive it for its stage debut in Toronto. I worked and worked on it, did the best I could, but a lot of wrinkling still remained. I steamed that tutu almost up to curtain.

In performance, MAGIC!....the drab romantic tutu I was worried about looked stunning! Fresh and lovely, with no gray overtones at all, it was absolutely beautiful.....and I was absolutely dumbfounded. Of course, Antonicheva's dancing made the tutu look lovely, but I also think that stage lighting doesn't get enough props. :wink:

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It's amazing how much wear and age in a tutu doesn't show from the stage. It's also amazing what a creative costumer can DO to a tutu to cover up the sweat stains...shoe polish, creative applique placement, etc. The audience can never see the camoflage, just a beautiful ballerina in an amazing tutu!

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In the recent Saturday matinee of "La Bayadere" at Berkeley, Bolshoi Ballet's Ekaterina Shipulina's Act II Gamzatti tutu started out in what looked like fine condition, but somewhere in the middle of the supported partnering, something happened to give it an odd, asymmetrical shape that was definitely NOT aerodynamic. When she did a series of very fast chaines, it flattened itself out a bit, luckily in time for the fouettes.

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