Jay Allen Ballet Dancer

There is something very powerful and emotional when watching a male ballet dancer.  The dancers strength and clear lines are evident. I must admit I get goosebumps whenever I watch a really good ballet.

Le Spectre de la rose (The Spirit of the Rose) is a short ballet about a young girl who dreams of dancing with the spirit of a souvenir rose from her first ball. The ballet was first presented in Monte Carlo in 1911.  The world famous Nijinsky danced The Rose and Tamara Karsavina danced The Young Girl. Spectre became internationally acclaimed  for the spectacular leap Nijinsky made through a window at the ballet’s end.

I was asked by a reqular customer to design an urgent costume.  He had been chosen to dance in the  2018 World Dance Championships in Barcelona.   When he said he needed a ballet unitard for this performance,  I almost declined as I thought Oh No!  I was expecting a nice tunic request.  Creating the ballet Unitard was a  challenge and a bit outside my usual tutu costumes.

The design
The design took days of thought and  head scratching.  A bespoke pattern was drafted from three other patterns and adjusted to the dancer at a follow up fitting.  The design brief was to represent the movement of flower petals from the stage to symbolise the rose.

Verious prototypes were developed to create the flower petal effect until I finally found a solution I liked.  Mixing my media and crafing again,  with a  burgandy glass velour which was super smooth and light reflective.  I used the Tim Holtz Shabby petals die to cut hundreds of flowers.  as ithey were cur from velvet, I then had to heat seal each petal of every flower to stop them from fraying.  Flowers and petals were layered up with petals left shimmy  and sway with the dancers movement.

I was overjoyed when the dancer sent me these photos and said the outfit looked stunning on the stage.  Our local young Nijinsky is doing so well.

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