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Complexions Contemporary Ballet Build!


We got an exciting call from the New Orleans Ballet (NOBA) technical director, Joan Long, asking us to do a costume build for a New York company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet! We were thrilled that they were reaching out, but extremely hesitant once we found out our deadlines...we basically had less than one month to turn it around and have it back in NYC. This seemed like a lot, considering it was one of our first projects of this sort, and we had no clue what was ahead of us (and we had other work we were trying to focus on as well!).

There were DEFINITE bumps along the road, but we've come to realize there are no smooth paved roads in the world of design (or in New Orleans for that matter, fix our streets! jk, I take pride in our potholes), so we hopped in our SUV and plowed through to the finish line ;)

Everyone who saw the pieces under construction inquired...soooo, this is for the ballet?? I constantly corrected/informed naive onlookers it was a contemporary ballet company, and conventional tutus everyone had in their heads could be checked at the door.

Choreographer Dwight Rhoden and sketch artist Christine Darch set their vision and sent over rough sketches along with materials and we got started (with lots of questions and brain picking to get a clearer image in our heads...it's not as easy as you'd think to convey costumes across the country!)

Oh and did we forget to mention we wouldn't be able to fit any of the dancers?!? Extremely detailed measurement charts were our best friends through this process, for sure! (Although I MAY have convinced my husband to be a fit model for the like-sized dancers) Other best friends were the single CB seams, 1" tucks, codpieces, and creating patterns for 2way/4way stretch (among many other fun pattern making challenges)!

We just sent the final box out last night, and met our deadline, and we CANNOT WAIT to see the costumes come to life! They'll premier in NYC November 18th, followed by a world tour, and they'll be coming to New Orleans in Fall of 2015.

One of the most exciting aspects of this process, is that the Complexions ballet that we constructed for, Head Space, is set to the music of Grammy Award winning New Orleans jazz musician Terence Blanchard! All in the NOLA family ;)

All in all, it was an amazing experience, and we hope to have the privelege to build for the ballet again! I could not have gotten through this without my AMAZING AND TALENTED TEAM, Marcella Perino, Kelly Casey, and Kristy Kernan!


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