Tag Archives: The Magic Flute

Building Birds, Part 4

So far in this bird series, I have shown you how the tutu base is finished for wear and how the bodice fronts are patterned and feathered. Today we will be looking at patterning the tail piece with the tutu that will be worn by Emily Cloyd as our example.

I first assembled the tutu onto the dress form according to the dancer’s measurements and attach the feathered front.

For patterning, we like to use this plastic sheeting that is similar to a plastic party tablecloth.  It is durable, flexible, see-through and easier to work with than other patterning mediums.

This is a basic pattern for the bird tail that was created earlier.  You can clearly see all the notes I have taken on it through the different drafts I made.  I will lay a clean sheet of pattern plastic on top to trace and create a rough draft for Emily’s tutu based on this.

After I have cut the pattern draft, I will apply it to the tutu to see where I need to make changes that are specific to this dancer and the shape of her costume.

Now that I have checked this draft and made the appropriate notes, I will make a final draft of the pattern and then cut the fabric.

Please check in next week for the assemblage of the tail and not long after that I will share with you the big reveal of all our lovely birds!


The Magic Flute Family Dance Workshop – Learn to make an ENTIRE ballet!

We just finished planning for this Saturday’s dance workshop and we are so excited for attendees to get a sneak peek at all of the elements that make our world premiere of The Magic Flute so uniquely special!

During the workshop, which explores the art of making a ballet from an opera, we will show how the giant-scale shadow puppets work in conjunction with the choreography – something that requires quite a bit of challenging coordination among everyone involved! We’ll also be revealing the whimsical costumes for the production’s most colorful characters such as the Queen of the Night and some of the animals. Since several of these costumes are still a work in progress, this costume preview will be even more exciting and exclusive for attendees.

Best of all, attendees will get to work with dancers to create their own ballet productions at the end of the workshop – they’ll choose who choreographs, designs sets and designs costumes, and when they put it all together, they’ll show their new ballet production to the entire audience!

I’m hoping to see a lot of families at this weekend’s The Magic Flute Family Dance Workshop, Saturday April 16th from 2 – 3:30pm. Sign up now!

Building Birds, Part 3

When last we left off, I was waiting for the tutu skirts. They’re here!

They are currently all hanging in the gondola (a big wardrobe box we use for storing and transporting costumes) with their bodices.

They do not arrive fully completed.  We will finish and shape them as needed.

My next step is to have fittings with each dancer and mark where her hooks and bars will be placed on the skirt basque (the upper part of the tutu skirt with no tulle) as well as the placement of the buttons which will attach to the tutu bodice.  The example below is the tutu that will be worn by dancer Rebecca Johnson.

Next week, I will start patterning the tail pieces, which will be pretty complicated, but I am excited for the challenge!