8 Wedding Variation Tutus & Costumes For Professional Ballet Roles

Do you have a penchant for ballet variations that include wedding scenes?  If you are fascinated by costume designs for specific choreography events,  wedding scene tutus and garments are an interesting costume category to explore and enjoy.

Although there are more, the eight character roles listed on this page offer the chance for us to see what some of the costume norms are within the industry. Some bridal variations are open to a wider range of costume styles than others. Some cling tightly to a certain look.  (That’s an interesting observation in itself and a great topic to explore in a future post).

Another intriguing aspect of wedding variation garments is how they can differ from venue to venue. The construction details and aesthetics for wedding tutus will have marked differences between local youth competitors, national competitors for programs like Y.A.G.P., and Principal dancers with esteemed theaters. No matter what level the dancer, wedding variations have a wonderful way of reconnecting us to the romantic side of choreography and costume design.

🌹 1.  The Sleeping Beauty

 Aurora’s Bridal Tutu Must Be Sumptuous And Luxurious

Aurora wedding variation tutu
© Costume Creations UK

The Sleeping Beauty ballet story is one of the most enchanting love stories of all time. For the wedding variation, Aurora’s  tutu needs to have a sumptuous and luxurious aesthetic. As a Princess, the garment must befit the nature of her position.

To Be Sumptuous Is To Be : Deluxe, lavish, posh, precious, grand, costly, prestigious, valuable.”

Classical tutus that look sumptuous and posh will always be constructed of the highest-quality materials. As with standard tradition, a lovely white or cream tutu with rich-looking embellishments work beautifully for a bridal costume.  A headpiece that sparkles with touches of silver or gold adds to the grand and prestigious aesthetic required.

One of the most traditional wedding garments of any type are those that are embellished with fine hand-sewn seed pearls.  You can view an example of Monica’s couture finishing technique using seed pearls to add opulence to a Classical tutu in white.

The very first Princess Aurora was Carlotta Brianza, an Italian Ballerina, who performed the role at  The Mariinsky Theater in 1890.

🌹 2.  Coppélia

 Swanhilda’s Wedding Wardrobe Has A Wide Range

Swanhilda Wedding Tutu Classical White
© Costume Creations UK

The Coppélia Ballet story offers an entertaining,  whimsical view about  rivals in the romance department.  In the end, our stubborn character, Swanhilda, forgives the fickle heart of Franz and simply refuses to give him up.

Her can’t-budge attitude adds a dramatic interest to the story line. As she marries Franz, we can’t help but wonder what will happen to him if he goes anywhere near a dollhouse.

Unlike some bridal variation costumes, this role has great freedom of design.  She  can wear peasant-style dance dresses, sheer chemises that resemble summer party gowns, traditional white Classical tutus, and long romantic tutu dresses.

Speaking of romance, what could be more romantic than a tutu that creates a subtle, romantic shimmer with every movement? This platter embellishment is a wonderful example of the way Monica creates the type of understated elegance that is the mark of high-end couture.

Throughout many venues, it is not unusual to see Swanhilda’s bridal costume in shades of rose, pink, beige, pale blue, and more.

The very first Swanhilda was a 16 year-old Italian dancer at The Paris Opera Ballet, Giuseppina Bozzacchi. Six months after her debut in 1870, she passed away from illness. She was only 17.

 

Although the following video was created to compare the techniques of seven different dancers doing Swanilda’s wedding variation, it is a wonderful example of the wide variety of costume styles that work for this role.

 

The Swanilda wedding variation is a widely danced role by both professionals and students. Costume designs are taken into consideration when working with scenery backdrops. What’s your favourite style?

 

🌹 3.  Don Quixote

Kitri’s Wedding Pas De Deux Costume Can Be Subtle Or Fiery

Kitri Wedding Variation Classical TutuThe Kitri character in The Don Quixote Ballet is described as a feisty and headstrong young lady.  In a large part of the ballet story, her costumes will reflect the Spanish flavour of the tale’s origins.

Dancing the role of Kitri can almost guarantee the opportunity to wear a vivid and passionate shade like red.  Take a peek at this passionate tutu shade.

Although red is a great color for dressing a fiery character, Kitri’s Act III Wedding Pas de Deux costume for Don Quixote looks heavenly in shades of cream and gold as pictured here, or  white with red accents like this lovely airbrushed design.

In The Don Quixote Ballet, Kitri has so many choices of suitors, we are just happy she chose one to marry before the theatre closed for the night.

🌹 4. La Bayadère

Gamzatti’s Engagement Celebration Glows In Gold

 

Gamzatti wedding variation gold tutuLa Bayadère is a complex ballet story that has a wide range of human expressions; anger, jealousy, victory, danger, and even murder.

Technically, Gamzatti appears in an engagement celebration at the end of the performance. The engagement adagio costume can be a Classical tutu, a 2-piece ensemble, or a harem-style garment.

Many professional theaters choose gold for  the garments of Gamzatti and the temple dancers, as well as the props and stage backdrops. Monica’s Moving Work Of Art tutu is one of the finest examples of costume artistry using shades of gold.

The strategic embellishments, stunning photography, and beautiful dancer makes this design a perfect rendition for Gamzatti’s engagement celebration variation. 

 

Set in Royal India, the temple scenes  of La Bayadere incorporate gold garments and props. Even today, the country of India has many golden temples that draw pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.

 

🌹 5. Cinderella

Diamond-Like Embellishments On Pure White Spells Pure Romance

Cinderella Wedding Variation Tutu
© Costume Creations UK

When the story of Cinderella was created for Classical dance, I am sure the theatrical world was enthralled. The heartfelt story line is absolutely perfect for dance choreography and the inspiration of theatrical costume designers.

From a costume standpoint, it can be a creative en devour to transform a character’s garments from a humble housemaid to a regal Princess.

Visually, Cinderella’s wedding costume should be so pretty that our hearts can’t help but sing with joy that she escaped from her sad predicament.

Gone are the days of her tedium and slavery. Cinderella’s marriage not only celebrates love, but freedom and an abundant future. Elegant diamond-like embellishments on a white costume create the perfect wedding garment for the character of Cinderella.

Pierina Legnani was the first Cinderella. According to Wikipedia, the role is credited with creating the first 32-fouette variation. View Pierina’s 1893 Cinderella tutu here.

🌹 6. Paquita

 A Wedding Variation Popular With Y.A.G.P. Contestants

Paquita Wedding Variation TutuWhen the costume is right and the dancer is professionally trained, the variation of Paquita’s wedding is a thing of beauty to behold. The Paquita Wedding Etoile Variation is one of the most popular choices for competitions.

It’s absolutely beautiful to watch and is one of the few variations where costuming details go beyond the basic garment.

There is something grand and magnificent about the “full ballerina regalia” look of a high-profile tiara, sheer wispy armlets, and a jewel-encrusted tutu in white.

Costumes for this wedding scene accentuate emergence and re-connection to nobility. After the character discovers she is of noble birth and not a gypsy, her stature in life has been greatly elevated. This is a perfect metaphor for the elevation of appearance that takes place when a ballet student wears a custom-designed tutu of high quality.

The role of Paquita was first performed in Paris in 1846. The story was created by  Joseph Mazilier, shown here in 1860.

 

🌹 7. Raymonda

 Raymonda’s Wedding Has Hungarian Flair

Raymonda wedding variation Hungarian style tutu
© Costume Creations UK

With so many ballet productions that make a nation, its customs, or its traditions part of the story line, the wedding scene for Raymonda is no different.

In Act III, the characters are dressed to honor the Hungarian king after receiving his blessing. Not only can we find corp dancers wearing fur hats and leather dance boots, but other types of Hungarian-style garments as well.

Raymonda’s wedding garment is typically fashioned in two styles:

  • A Classical tutu or long ballet dress that showcases the traditional  Hungarian lace-up bodice worn by women of nobility.
  • A standard Classical tutu with gold embellishments like this professional Raymonda variation tutu.

 Lace-up bodices are part of the fashion history of Hungarian women. This antique painting is a lovely example of the bodice design on a  Hungarian noblewoman as a bride.

 

🌹 8. Shurale

Syuimbike The Bird-Maiden Wears A Blend Of Textures

Syuimbike Wedding Dance Costume- Shurale Ballet
© Costume Creations UK

When you study The Shurale Ballet story line, you get a genuine glimpse of how deep and complex the human imagination can go.

The Shurale is very other-worldly and takes us to another time and place. Based on a Tatar folk tale, we go deep into a forest with mythical creatures and fairy-like entities that have their wings stolen.

The garment aesthetics encapsulate freedom of movement, delicate maneuvers, and showcases any dancer who moves with lyrical expertise.

As a bird-maiden, Syuimbike’s wedding garment will contain light and airy fabric elements like panels of chiffon, silk voile, tricot, or mesh. Typically, theatrical garment makers approach the bird-maiden design in three ways:

Shurale ballet costume feather embellishment
© Costume Creations UK

1. They emphasize  the woodsy nature of the story by sewing on leaves or vines.

2. They focus more on the bird-like attributes of Syuimbike’s role with fabric wings and wisps of  feathers.

3. They do all of the above.

Syuimbike  is pronounced “sigh-whim-bike”. Here, we see how The Kirov Ballet costume department dressed Natalia Dudinskaya as Syuimbike in 1935.

 

Some of the ballet stories mentioned here will soon be 200 years old. It is through appreciation and respect that these costume standards live on and on. Long before there were planes, trains, or automobiles, there were dedicated artists who sacrificed their time making ballet costumes for the world to enjoy.

 

 

 

Images or links to images credits:

1. Aurora tutu image copyright by photographer Gregory Batardon, used with permission by Prix du Lausanne.

2. Carlotta Brianza By Unknown author (http://www.rian.ru/culture/20091222/200751156.html) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Giuseppina Bozzacchi by Photography studio of the Théâtre Impérial de l´Opéra. Paris, France. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Flickr.com, The Golden Temple by Peter van Aller, No Modifications, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

5. Pierina Legnani In 1893 As Cinderella  by Unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

6. Joseph Mazilier Circa 1860, author unknown, scanned to en.wikipedia.org by Mrlopez2681 for  [Public domain use], via Wikimedia Commons. No Modifications.

7. Mrs. György Bencsik, née Klaudia Ürményi de Ürmény (1833–1862), Hungarian noblewoman as a bride by Alajos Györgyi Giergl [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, No Modifications

 

Quotes

(Definition of “sumptuous ” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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