Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet: Costumes | English National Ballet

Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet: Costumes | English National Ballet


Romeo & Juliet was created in 1977 and
it was designed by Ezio Frigerio and Franca Squarciapino. It’s a beautiful production – it’s considered a beautiful antique. On stage every night there is roughly 111 costumes being used but in this entire production, there is 385 costumes. My work on Romeo & Juliet is to make new costumes. I have been working on Juliet’s costumes and Juliet’s friends and Paris court
costumes for this particular production. As soon as we get casting
and as soon as we’ve done a fit up we know exactly then what needs to be reproduced or we can have a look at the old costumes, see
if they’re working and if not then I have to start redying all the fabrics to
match the current production and as the production was produced in the 70s, it’s quite interesting from my point of view because I have to then reproduce those colours, not as they were in the 70s, but how they now look, so it’s
an interesting technique for me. Costumes in Romeo & Juliet are not
overly complicated in a cutting perspective you know, in a making perspective, but they are full of decorations. So the Paris court costumes
that I’m making right now, they are all decorated with petals and flowers, and
they’re single petals attached one by one. To make a costume it can take from two
days to a week, it depends on the complexity of the costume. We are currently refurbing acrobats. They looked quite tired from the last production so we’ve decided that they need quite a lot of work. We’ve dyed all the fabric for the shirts and now I’m currently working on 11 pairs of tights which need to be
hand-painted so that’s quite a big refurb for us. When I see the costumes I make up on stage, it’s a very nice feeling. It’s very emotional because you make something and you’ve been putting your
passion into making something and then you see it dancing on a beautiful dancer and it’s just a joy. I feel very proud of the work that we do on Romeo & Juliet. We’re always immensely critical of our work how we can improve, but overall I
would say we’re terribly lucky to do our jobs.

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