The Shrinking Dancer

When the dancer shrinks? Oh, wait… it’s a different dancer without a headdress.

From Sandi Kurtz:

A few years ago, Pacific Northwest Ballet was in the middle of a run of Balanchine’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Their production was designed by Martin Pakeldinaz, and one of the costume elements for Hipolyta is a large headdress that resembles a British admiral’s hat or a Roman general’s helmet, with a tall brush on top — it adds at least six or seven inches to the dancer who wears it.  Ariana Lallone was alternating performances with Brittany Reid — Lallone is close to six feet on pointe and the headdress just made her even taller.  During the big scene when Hipolyta is hunting with her dogs, Lallone injured herself, and they needed to bring in a substitute fast.  Reid was in the corps that night, and so they took the tutu off Lallone and put it on Reid, but they couldn’t switch out the headdress in time — it was held on with a massive number of hairpins and spray.  I was in the audience that night, and noticed that something was wrong when Lallone missed an entrance, but was confused as I thought I saw Lallone come on stage — she seemed to have shrunk almost a foot.  It took me the rest of the act to realize that it was a different dancer without the headdress on.

Sandi Kurtz

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