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Cinderella’s entrance to the ball is made even more magical by a 27-foot-long, hand-painted silk cape.
Boston Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella Photo credit: Gene Schiavone
Take a peek inside the Costume Shop as the team works their fairy godmother magic on the costumes of Cinderella.
The subtle shimmer of Cinderella’s ball tutu is achieved with layers of sparkly tulle and sequins.Photo credit: Brooke Trisolini
David Walker’s designs incorporate playful colors and over-the-top silhouettes.Photo credit: Brooke Trisolini
Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella transports us to an enchanted world, where a young woman overcomes hardship to find her true love’s destiny. With a magical transformation and a lost slipper at its center, the costumes play a vital role in telling this timeless tale. Go behind the scenes as the Costume Shop & Wardrobe team shares the secrets behind making this beloved fairy tale sparkle on stage.
The Cinderella costumes have a storied history. Originally created by legendary British costume designer David Walker, they premiered on stage at the Royal Ballet in London in 1987. The production was later sold to the Dutch National Ballet, where it remained for several years before being acquired by Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.
The challenge of working with an older production is that, over the years, information has been lost in translation—literally. When Boston Ballet first rented the production from the Joffrey in 2014, the inventory was logged entirely in Dutch and the original designs were missing. The Costume Shop team has worked carefully to piece together the production, but some unsolved mysteries remain. To the most astute observer, the fairy costumes in Act One, with their long, flowing tutus and empire waists, might look slightly out of place with the rest of the production. First Hand Nellie Kurz, who works closely on refurbishing and refitting the costumes, explains, “I suspect that they were a part of an earlier, 1965 production of Cinderella, also designed by David Walker, but it’s hard to know for sure.”
The costumes are crucial in bringing the exaggerated stepsister characters to life.
Boston Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella. Photo credit: Gene Schiavone
Adding a new role to her repertoire, Viktorina shares a little of her own Cinderella story.
Two stepsisters mean a double dose of laughter in this beloved fairy tale.
Go behind the scenes for a closer look at Cinderella’s awe-inspiring entrance down the grand staircase to the Royal Ball.