Mastering Mount Making

I love mount making - it's an amazing way to really understand a costume and wonderful to see it come to life on a mannequin. I learned most of my mount making skills on the job and thought I would share some of the links and tips I have found on the way! BOOKS Even… Continue reading Mastering Mount Making

The week Nijinsky spent in Texas

I have long been fascinated with the Ballets Russes USA tours in 1916 and 1917. Last year for Arts+Culture Texas I researched the week the company spent in Texas. The following article is reproduced with permission from Arts + Culture. In early December 1916 Vaslav Nijinsky, the greatest dancer alive, spent a week in Texas.… Continue reading The week Nijinsky spent in Texas

Trunks, costumes and lots of (acid-free) tissue paper…

The origin of the Jacob's Pillow Costume Collection falls into two categories; those costumes kept by Ted Shawn and those kept by Ruth St. Denis. In 1932 after the Denishawn Company had finally disbanded the costumes, props and sets were divided between Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis. Each dancer kept items which were particularly… Continue reading Trunks, costumes and lots of (acid-free) tissue paper…

Dance We Must

Dance We Must is designed to highlight the careers of Modern Dance pioneers Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, utilising many unseen items from the extensive archive at Jacob’s Pillow.

Chagall: Fantasies for The Stage

When I was in LA last month I was able to go and see the wonderful exhibition Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage  at LACMA. The exhibition runs until January 7, 2018. It is a wonderful opportunity to see the costume and set designs created by Marc Chagall. Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage showcases  41 costumes and nearly 100 designs… Continue reading Chagall: Fantasies for The Stage

Karinska’s cottage in the woods

I recently found out that legendary designer and costume maker Barbara Karinska had a summer cottage in the Berkshires - in fact just down the road from Jacob's Pillow! If that was not cool enough I then found out that it was in this cottage that George Balanchine and Maria Tallchief spent their honeymoon in… Continue reading Karinska’s cottage in the woods

Fokine Ballet Summer Camp

This time I swear I wasn't looking for ballet! I spent the last weekend in the gorgeous town of  Lenox, Massachusetts. This area was the hugely popular during the so called 'Gilded Age' and is full of beautiful estates called 'cottages'. I went to visited the gorgeous Ventfort Hall - built for Sarah Morgan. https://www.gildedage.org/… Continue reading Fokine Ballet Summer Camp

In search of Pavlova…

Over the last 12 days I have been exploring Scotland by train (and ferry and occasionally bus and even taxi!) - it was brilliant adventure. When I was in Glasgow I went to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It was here that I was able to see this wonderful painting of Anna Pavlova in The… Continue reading In search of Pavlova…

What started it all …

The Ballets Russes, and in particular their costumes, have been my passion since I was 15 years old and found an old exhibition catalogue in a second-hand bookshop. The catalogue was from the National Gallery of Australia's 1999 exhibition, From Russia with Love, and contained a picture of this costume for a knight from the 1910 production of Firebird. I… Continue reading What started it all …

A swan song …

Anna Pavlova, b. 1881 - d. 1931 was most famous for her performance of the divertissement The Swan or The Dying Swan. The elaborate feathered tutu she wore has  always fascinated me - How was it made? Does it survive? Several years ago I began working as a volunteer at the Museum of London which houses, amongst its vast collection,… Continue reading A swan song …