- Two seamstresses work on the children's angel costumes.
- The children's toy soldier costumes, sectioned by dancer.
- The top for the Cavalier, the male lead, is made in two parts: a loose undershirt topped by a thick, structured overshirt to increase the dancer's mobility.
- Costumes for many parts, including the Cavalier, are tailor-made for specific dancers, depending on who performs on a certain show.
- One of the Candy Cane costumes.
- Men’s Wardrobe Stitcher Jose Gutierrez sews toy soldier pants.
- The top for Mother Ginger—which is always performed by a man—demands a rather substantial built-in bust. The wearer must go on stage with in an 85-pound costume and a nine-foot-wide hoop skirt that takes three people to secure—all while wearing stilts.
- The shoe room, staffed by a single full-time employee, is where dancers keep spare pairs of pointe shoes, all of which are handmade and shipped from London. Principal dancers like Sara Mearns have an entire column all to themselves, as shoes can sometimes
- These green pointe shoes, while striking, are (unfortunately) not worn in The Nutcracker.
- Crowns are made to match both blonde and brown hair—these will be worn by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
- Headpieces, both blonde and brunette, for Dew Drop, the principal dancer in the Waltz of the Flowers.
- The blue pom-pom dress will be worn by the dancer who plays the Columbine Doll, one of the presents given during the party scene.
- There are around ten of the Sugar Plum Fairy's solo dress, each tailored to different dancers who share the role.
- The Waltz of the Snowflakes dresses.
- The second dress worn by the Sugar Plum Fairy during her Pas de Deux with the Cavalier. Like the pink Sugar Plum Fairy dresses, some dancers share a dress while others have their own—this one belongs to Sara Mearns, which wardrobe staff refer to simply as
- The buttons on this Spanish Hot Chocolate costume require replacing—they've been discolored and have partially melted over time due to routine dry cleaning.
- Assistant Wardrobe Manager Eric Rudy hand-sews new buttons onto the dress.
- The audience won't be able to see it from their seats, but the principal dancer in the Spanish Hot Chocolate number wears a pendant with choreographer and New York City Ballet co-founder George Balanchine's portrait. The other dancers wear one with Lincol
- The crochet on the Hot Chocolate dresses is done completely by hand.
- The Dew Drop dresses, organized by dancer.
- A Waltz of the Flowers dress.
- The dress worn by Dew Drop, the principal dancer in the Waltz of the Flowers.
- One of the dresses worn during the Dance of the Marzipan.
- The children's mice heads.
- The young Nutcracker costume.
- Two costumes worn during the party scene. Children, usually around 10, tend to spend about three years performing in the party scene before they become too tall for the roles.
An unusual quiet has descended upon the David H. Koch Theater: On Friday, November 28th, the New York City Ballet will premiere its 60th annual production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, though you wouldn't know it upon entering the building. This is one of the few weeks of the year when the cast and crew can take a collective breather before Lincoln Center is sacrificed to the Christmas crowds.
The costume department, however, is buzzing. With the finalized cast list's arrival only last Tuesday, the small team of wardrobe specialists must repair and tailor all the costumes to fit the new dancers in just two weeks. Like every year since the show premiered, the performers will wear Barbara Karinska's original designs (though no—the costumes are not the same ones worn 60 years ago).
Join us on our backstage tour for an up-close peek at the iconic costumes—including toy soldiers, snowflakes, the Land of Sweets' Spanish hot chocolate and marzipan, and of course, the Sugar Plum Fairy.
· NYCB [Official Site]
· How Ballerina Sara Mearns Puts On Her Stage Makeup [Racked NY]
· New York City Ballet [Racked NY]