Helene

Director's Choice: 31 May-1 June; 6 June-9 June

65 posts in this topic

Here are the NBoC diamonds lead costumes - as worn by Carrie Imler and Batkhural Bold:

Note the headwear for Ms Imler has been simplified to only rhinestones, and the crown sits across her head instead of just at the back. The jewel pattern across her chest is different, and the yoke of jewels does not go as low as the original design. The top has a dropped waist as well. The ribbons are more subtle on the lead woman's tutu, but more apparent in real life. I will try to find a post of them. The man's costume is similar to the original.

Diamonds.jpg


Here is the corps for Diamonds at PNB (NBoC costumes), their headwear almost looks like mother of pearl shells, but only on one side, which IMHO looks off kilter. I'll try to find a close-up shot.

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Here's the close up shot - it almost looks like they're wearing blue china cup fragments on their heads - very odd.

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They look more ornate in the video than what we saw, and I don't think the headpieces are the same. I know that when they re-built the costumes sometime in the '80's or early '90's, the fabrics looked different and the design shifted, but they are still attributed to Karinska.

I can't find anything online that talks about the NBoC costumes.

According to the program note when Suzanne Farrell Ballet danced Diamonds in 2011:

Design by Karinska, courtesy of National Ballet of Canada

There is a photo here.

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I should have thought of this photo, Jayne - great find. I personally think the set-back "cage" headdress was a very sleek design. But Karinska also tried for the opposite effect - a forehead piece that had a very ethnic look to it:

SuzanneFarrellDiamonds.-Balanchine.jpg

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I'm hoping to be down to see SFB in the Ratmansky program.

There is a strong possibillity that I will see the Ratmansky program as well - so we shall see if a number of forum members will attend...

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It looks like the corps at least changed their headpieces between the first and last movements, because the ones at the beginning looked more like rhinestone helmets. I don't think that was a hallucination.

I haven't seen NYCB's "Emeralds" for over a decade, but if I remember correctly, the re-done designs were a brighter green and out of shinier fabric and they didn't look so dated. For me, nothing beats the Lacroix "Emeralds" costumes.

The reason I dislike the "Diamonds" women's costumes so much is that I think the soft tutus look sloppy and like they haven't decided to be either tutus or softer chiffon dresses, especially for the corps. Kent Stowell used the same opening configuration for the fourth act of his "Swan Lake," and the formal, stiffer tutus made the spacing that much clearer and cleaner. (The tutus also didn't puff up and down quite as much.) It might have been difficult, though, to fit the corps on the stage in the last movement, especially during all of those human garden pagoda configurations, with stiffer tutus.

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Totally agree with you, Helene, regarding Lacroix's Emeralds costumes, except for the bodice style which appears too wide/bulky to me and makes even the most dimunitive women appear stocky (Clairemarie Osta for example). Karinska's 'originals' do that as well. And I totally agree regarding the Diamonds tutus - seems to me these need to be pancake tutus in brilliant white. But as you point out, the stage was rather crowded with eager little diamonds, and any more circumference to the tutus and there would have been scrapes and collisions. ;)

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I love the longer, soft Diamonds tutus. For me, they hearken back to the late 19th century, just as do all the pas de chats in the choreography.

Farrell wore the Diamonds headpiece backwards for purposes of the photo only, above.

No change in the women's headpieces between 1st and 4th movements. Fingerless lace elbow-length gloves added for 4th movement, however.

The PNB Diamonds principal's costumes were built by PNB. All others from NBoC.

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I love the longer, soft Diamonds tutus. For me, they hearken back to the late 19th century, just as do all the pas de chats in the choreography.

Farrell wore the Diamonds headpiece backwards for purposes of the photo only, above.

No change in the women's headpieces between 1st and 4th movements. Fingerless lace elbow-length gloves added for 4th movement, however.

The PNB Diamonds principal's costumes were built by PNB. All others from NBoC.

>> So that's what's going on with Farrell's headpiece! Well it obviously fits the contours of the head both front and back.

I do recall seeing the lace gloves - that was a nice touch.

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Just as an FYI, the quote function hasn't been working since the upgrade, and it's being investigated.

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I lost track of this thread until today, so my comments are very behind-time.

In Toni Bentley's "Winter Season" she talks about being the model for the Diamonds costumes, and mentions that the original placement of the stones on the bodice was in part based on her torso (she was quite flat-chested at the time). Apparently, when they were worn by dancers with more (or just any) cleavage, it was felt they were too suggestive, so they were modified.

I agree with Doug about the corps costumes -- the longer skirt gives a softer line, and shows to great affect during the pas de chat. But just logistically, I think it would be very difficult to deal with a wider, stiffer tutu in the 4th movement -- there just isn't enough room on stage for all that width! When PNB first staged Theme and Variations, I remember them wearing dinner plate tutus, and thinking it looked pretty crowded on stage.

I like the design of the POB Emeralds costumes, but in the video I've seen I don't really like the shade of green (might be the fault of my monitor, rather than the design...) It's too dark for my taste, but your mileage may vary.

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A kind person sent me an email to point out that it was the demi-soloists who have the bejeweled helmets, not the corps members, who wear the butterfly clips:

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I like the idea of the soft tutus much more than the implementation, especially since they're cut above the knee. They don't seem to be this or that. I've never been a great fan of most of Karinska's designs, though.

POB managed beautifully with slightly soft formal tutus for "Diamonds," but the stage at the Bastille is so huge that when they do the last act of "Raymonda" as a stand-alone, it looks like none of the guests arrived for the wedding, and in "4 T's" Melancholic looks like he's doing his solo in the middle of the ocean.

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POB managed beautifully with slightly soft formal tutus for "Diamonds," but the stage at the Bastille is so huge that when they do the last act of "Raymonda" as a stand-alone, it looks like none of the guests arrived for the wedding, and in "4 T's" Melancholic looks like he's doing his solo in the middle of the ocean.

Seems like that's where the art of stage lighting should come into play - to 'shrink' the stage when necessary, and expand the view when necesary. But I suppose some people would feel that's too much messing about with the visuals.

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POB could do what it wants with "Raymonda," although it needs the width to perform the choreography the way it's now blocked, but when an audience member asked in a Q&A whether PNB had experimented with different colors on the cyclotron, Peter Boal said that Trust dictates "Balanchine blue" and I'm not sure how kosher it would be to shrink the stage lighting-wise. At the Bastille, it would become a tunnel if the stage was narrowed.

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An artcle about Sarasota Ballet explains the Farrell photo:

One of the things [sarasota Ballet Principal Danielle] Brown learned involved the elaborate headpiece that is part of the lead ballerina's costume in "Diamonds." After sitting through an entire pre-performance photo shoot, the dancer realized she had been wearing it backwards.

But when Farrell casually commented, "Oh, I did the same thing for a photo shoot once. That way you can see all the jewels," an embarrassed Brown said, "Oh....yeah....right."

If it was good enough for Suzanne Farrell, it was good enough for her.

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