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Showing posts from May, 2014

Giselle’s new look inspired by ballet's history

Only up close in the Pacific Northwest Ballet costume shop can one see the splendid detail of Giselle’s peasant dress, a hunter’s coat, or a Wili’s wings. Every costume heading for the stage is the product of hours of labor by a talented team.

“About 50 percent of every costume is sewn by hand,” said Larae Theige Hascall, the company’s costume shop manager, as she flipped over a bodice to show off a tiny pocket inside the Wili’s bodice that will hold the dancer’s fluttering wings.

Designer Jerome Kaplan’s new sets and costumes for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of “Giselle” borrows details from the ballet’s early history. The romantic ballet, which premiered in 1841, starts with the peasant girl Giselle dancing happily with her handsome suitor. However, when Giselle discovers her beau is a nobleman in disguise (and thus out of her class), she dies of broken heart. Her unhappy end makes her one of the Wilis, supernatural maidens doomed to take their revenge on m…