The Swans in Rehearsal
As Swan Lake prepares for takeoff at Pacific Northwest Ballet (4/12-4/21), the company is posting some rehearsal videos that are pretty irresistible—in large part because they offer a peek at backstage ballet fashion, which never fails to mesmerize. How do the dancers end up wearing such a colorful mishmash of leotards, tights, heat wraps, flouncy skirts, shrugs and leg warmer-style knitted garments of varying lengths and locations? And how do they come up with such innovative ways to layer them? Is someone stage directing this, a la A Chorus Line? Is "Cool Rehearsal Fashion" a class taught in ballet school? Or are the dancers just casually putting their tights on outside their bodysuits, rolling the waistband down and throwing a vivid wrap around a thigh or two? Are they consciously or unconsciously emulating dance-movie staple scenes? No matter how it happens, I can't get enough of it. In fact I'd prefer seeing Swan Lake performed entirely in rehearsal get-ups instead of the fancy tutus.... which, while pretty, lose points for en masse conformity. And think of all the money PNB would save on sequins!