La Bayadere Princesse Gamzatti Variation Costume

Princesse Gamzatti Tutu
© Design Copyright Monica Newell, Princesse Gamzatti Tutu

Ballet stories are an incredible feat of the human imagination. Sometimes, the plots are light, airy and easy to follow. Sometimes, they contain more twists and turns than the dancers themselves. The storyline of the La Bayadere Ballet is guaranteed to keep us on our toes ( no pun intended).

As much as I speak of ballet as romantic, charming and ethereal, it has a turbulent , passionate side as well. In La Bayadere, we can find the darker side of human experience as it relates to  jealous, competitive love, backstabbing, murderous plots, physical assault and despair.

However, we also find devotion and reunited lovers that never let their hearts grow cold for one another. There are three main characters; Solar, Nikiya and Princesse Gamzatti.  The princess wants Solar.  Solar loves Nikiya.

The role of Princesse Gamzatti is that of competitor and enemy of Solar’s real love, Nikiya.  In order to woo him away, she needs the prettiest tutu she can find. Perhaps if she had worn this gorgeous gold and cream tutu, Solar would have changed his mind.

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The Tutu Skirt

Princesse Gamzatti Tutu
© Design Copyright Monica Newell
  •  Isn’t it wonderful to catch a glimpse of the underside of a professional tutu skirt? The layering expertise is second to none. One of the rarest skills in classical costume designing is getting this technique down to an art. Not only is it a work of art, it is a science when it comes to the manipulation of difficult fabric like netting.
  • The crisp structure of the skirt shape is aesthetically perfect. The embellishments along the skirt edge are reminiscent of precious metals.
  • Gold on cream creates a regal elegance that befits the role of a princess perfectly. If you keep in mind that these beautiful layers are pieced, shaped and molded by hand, you can’t help but admire the designer’s talent.

The Bodice Details

  • Let Your Light Shine-The first thing I noticed about the bodice was the sparkling reflection of light beaming from the fabric itself. The material has a lovely sheen that mimics the warm glow of 14K Yellow Gold in candlelight.
  • Golden embellishments placed on the gold fabric of the bodice create a harmonious blend of tone-on-tone colour that is the earmark of high-end couture garments.
  • The seams are so carefully tapered for a perfect fit. You can imagine the shape of the dancer’s torso wearing it on stage.
  • In contrast, the bodice back and sides are graded to contour around the body for freedom of movement.  When you see all of this, it makes you realise how serious the fitting requirements are for professional costumes.

The Accessories

  • A princess wouldn’t be the same without a crown, so in addition to her gorgeous couture ensemble, this fortunate dancer gets a crown of gold. It’s fun to imagine the finished stage makeup, hair and pointe shoes that completed this variation role for Princess Gamzatti in La Bayadere.



big_aus“We are treasure chests with more jewels inside than we can imagine.”
― Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha


  1. I love the Ballet La Bayadere – there is so much of interest and many lovely scenes full of wonderful costumes. I am so glad you liked the gold and cream combination for the role of Gamzatti – I endeavoured to make it as regal as possible.

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