Helene

Bolshoi's "Jewels"

37 posts in this topic

Karinska was not known to do costume sketches, per se. Edward Bigelow, her good friend and longtime NYCB staff member said that she would sometimes do costume sketches AFTER the fact because individuals asked for them, as keepsakes, one assumes.

there's a color photo from the same session as the one from twitter noted above, from Bentley's KARINSKA book, (see black&white scan further down in this thread).

the frou-frou skirt on McBride's tunic was used for the first or first few seasons and then seeming changed at Balanchine's and/or Karinska's behest to the more "Roman" one that came after.

Villella's "Roman"ish costume, with kilt-like skirt and tunic, might be a descendant of Karinska's design for him as Oberon; one NYCB follower in the time of MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM said that Karinska was said to be very taken w/ Villella.

as to why the costumes were altered, detail-wise over the years, the ones made in Balanchine's/karinska's time must have been made according to their sometimes changing tastes. i imagine a dancer might suggest something for a change but sense it was the designer's and/or choreographer's actual choice in the end.

i rem. however a post-Karinska, post-Balanchine comment from a balletmistress to me when GOUNOD SYMPHONY was being prepared for a revival, mostly with notes made by Vida Brown when the ballet was transferred from City Center to the Palais Garnier. when asked about the costuming, i was told that the Karinska costumes were being re-done but, said the NYCB staff member, more or less rolling her eyes, "not with that ball-fringe on the skirts' hems," which really gave me pause. i wondered how a balletmistress's taste and personal preference could overrule the wishes and design scheme of the designer being credited with the costuming. sure enough, when the production was remounted the edging detail in question was nowhere to be seen.

in sum, and in general, one can presume that costume designs get rethought when being rebuilt to the satisfaction of the current regime with no particular reverence for what was specifically done before.

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in sum, and in general, one can presume that costume designs get rethought when being rebuilt to the satisfaction of the current regime with no particular reverence for what was specifically done before.

The sets for Jewels have been redesigned twice now, if I'm not mistaken. Were they really worn out? Perhaps the next time Martins wants a fresh look for sets or costumes he could commission copies of the originals, which were good enough for Balanchine, and which fewer and fewer people in his audience have ever seen.

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I find the feathers in the hair of the corps women in Diamonds particularly distracting in the current version of the NYCB costuming. I don't think the old costumes had feathers. However, I can live with the feathers, as the most urgent costume change must be for the corps in Who Cares. A rare disaster for designer Santo Loquasto.

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in sum, and in general, one can presume that costume designs get rethought when being rebuilt to the satisfaction of the current regime with no particular reverence for what was specifically done before.

The sets for Jewels have been redesigned twice now, if I'm not mistaken. Were they really worn out? Perhaps the next time Martins wants a fresh look for sets or costumes he could commission copies of the originals, which were good enough for Balanchine, and which fewer and fewer people in his audience have ever seen.

I think the original Jewels sets are used by the Mariinsky. Literally.

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I've known a few people who are fluent in three and even more languages -- but none who could move so quickly and accurately from one to another to another, both listening and speaking. Phenomenal language skill isn't often accompanied by such speed, flexibility, and personality. She was awe-inspiring.

Switching quickly between languages is an acquired skill (and one that must be maintained). It's related to but separate from command/fluency in the actual languages.

That said, I also thought she was very impressive. My guess is that she does a lot of translating during the course of her working day.

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The foofy tutu skirt that McBride wore make the Paris Opera Ballet ones by Lacroix look sleek. I had thought that Lacroix had changed precedent, but his are less fussy than the the one in the photo. i actually like it, although the tunic matches the choreography and music a lot better.

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f.y.i. the black-and-white version of the photo reproduced in Bentley's Karinska book taken for publicity purposes for the first outings of JEWELS in '67, thus w/ Karinska's original designs.

post-848-0-37349500-1390656547_thumb.jpg

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scan of another photo, meant for publicity purposes for a show about Edward Villella, called "A Man Who Dances," from the time of the first season(s) of JEWELS, which may have been previously posted on this site.

unfortunately Villella's costume is largely obscured.

f.y.i.

post-848-0-29061300-1390669528_thumb.jpg

post-848-0-99406300-1390669574_thumb.jpg

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scan of another photo, meant for publicity purposes for a show about Edward Villella, called "A Man Who Dances," from the time of the first season(s) of JEWELS, which may have been previously posted on this site.

unfortunately Villella's costume is largely obscured.

f.y.i.

Fascinating -- McBride's skirt is quite ruffle-y, but has those tabs that look rather like the contemporary costumes. Perhaps this is an intermediary stage?

And I love the color logo for "NBC Color Television!"

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I love the hybrid of the tutu and the tabs.

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I love the hybrid of the tutu and the tabs.

Photos 104 and 105 in B.H. Haggin's Discovering Balanchine show McBride (with Villella) in this hybrid outfit.

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I love the hybrid of the tutu and the tabs.

I agree.

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