ABT's Harlequinade Reconstruction, By the Numbers

Robert Perdziola's designs for ABT's production of Harlequinade are inspired by the 1900 originals. Image by Robert Perdziola, Courtesy ABT

American Ballet Theatre artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky's latest full-length, a reconstruction of Marius Petipa's Harlequinade, premieres tonight as part of ABT's spring season. Here's a glimpse of what it takes to produce a new ballet of this scale:

It has been 10 months since American Ballet Theatre began planning its new production of Harlequinade, which premieres on June 4 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

The production features 174 costumes, all created by the veteran ballet, opera and theater designer Robert Perdziola. That includes 172 pieces of headwear, such as hats and wigs. The designs are based on the 1900 originals, by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, also the designer of the original Sleeping Beauty.

Columbine's second-act costume, which includes a tutu that falls just above the knee, gloves and a stylish plumed hat, cost $6,450 to produce.

Sketch for Columbine's Act II costume. Image by Robert Perdziola, Courtesy ABT

Harlequinade's big ensemble scenes set in motion scores of dancers, including 34 children, all students from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

The Conversation

Is dance a sport? Should it be in the Olympics? They're complicated questions that tend to spark heated debate. But many dance fans will be excited to hear that breaking (please don't call it breakdancing) has been provisionally added to the program for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

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Career Advice
Pacific Northwest Ballet principals Rachel Foster and Jonathan Porretta took their final curtain call on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB

We all know dance careers are temporary. But this season, it feels like we're saying goodbye to more stars than usual.

Many have turned to social media to share their last curtain calls, thoughts on what it feels like to say farewell to performing, and insights into the ways that dancing has made them who they are. After years of dedicating your life to the studio and stage, the decision to stop dancing is always an emotional one. Each dancer handles it in their own way—whether that means cheekily admitting to having an existential crisis, or simply leaving with no regrets about what you did for love.

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