Medora Variation Costume-Le Corsaire Ballet

Medora Variation Costume
© 2014 Original Theatrical Couture- Designed by Monica Newell

Pirates, caves full of treasure, slaves that escape and shipwrecks make Le Corsaire an exciting adventure to portray through the art of dance. In the role of Medora, we see the heartache of captivity, the longing for a loved one and the magnificent victory of recaptured freedom. The role offers the chance for deep artistic expression.

Although it appears that Medora and her love Conrad will never be free to reunite, they persevere through the hills and valleys of emotional extremes. After the hardships, the dangers and the loss of freedom they are finally victorious. In the end, Medora and Conrad sail off together to a life of happiness and joy.

The Tutu Skirt Design

Befitting the watery story of pirates and ships, this magnificent sea-green ensemble gives Medora the magical air of a mermaid or sprite. The metallic embellishments are representative of the glints of buried treasure in a pirates cave.

The solid netting shade delicately covered with a myriad of individual crystals creates maximum light refraction under stage lighting. The sparkling border of vine-shaped trim creates a beautifully balanced, encore-worthy variation costume. You can really see the expertise of these placements in the bottom left photo.

 Created For Maximum Brilliance Under Stage Lighting


The Bodice Details Tell Their Own Story

  • Medora Tutu Bodice
    © 2014 Monica Newell Dance Couture

    Embellishing both a tutu skirt and the matching bodice to create the perfect decorative blend can’t be easy.  Count the individual crystals you can see; it takes a lot of time, doesn’t it? Now imagine sewing on each one by hand.


  • It takes talent artistically to layer coloured gems and trims to please the eye and add value to the overall effect of the costume.


  • The intertwining design is reminiscent of  swaying sea grass growing from a chest of buried treasure; a very appropriate and opulent look for the Medora role.


  • One can easily imagine a delicate sea plant gathering gems and precious metals from the pirates chest as it sprouts forth from its underwater garden.


  • Fanning out the embellishment from narrow to wide creates the look of a tiny waist and draws the eye upwards to a dancers lovely port de bras and graceful posture.


An Expressive, Feminine Headpiece For The Lovely Medora

Medora Costume Headpiece
© 2014 Monica Newell

Coordinating headpieces create the professional ballerina appearance that audience members and competition judges expect ( and love)  to see.

Even the smallest, daintiest accessory left out of a variation ensemble  could leave the dancer looking less than perfect.

Perfection in costume design can come down to the tiniest details; a slight turn of the trim, the direction of a flower petal, the curvature of a seam and even the knotting of a thread. 

All of this intricate couture work means that a dancer is going to feel incredible secure about her appearance and her believability portraying her role.

Medora Dances For Her Freedom And For Love


“What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man”.

Robert Green Ingersoll


One comment

  1. Le Corsaire is my favourite ballet, I loved making this tutu with sea greens and gold and jade embellishment, thank you for giving such a lovely insight into the story and atmosphere of the ballet, and for your descriptions of the tutu details.

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