There are a lot things that go into making a ballet production. Dancers and the choreography are obviously the skeleton, but a huge part of what makes it come alive is the costume department. This is why this summer we gave an opportunity to those who are interested to come intern with us.
The summer internship lasted for a period of three weeks from the 15th of May till the 2nd of June. We had 10 interns filling the office space with their creative contribution and ideas. We had a wide range of interns spanning from tiny Maya (age 10) to a full blown design graduate (age 23).
Each individual’s creative stance not only focused on the look of each prop but also the practicality of its use on stage. Ballet unlike fashion is not only about the vision on stage but is also centered around technical movement. To be able to incorporate both the visual and practical aspects into a costume and its prop is a challenging task, which all our interns tackled with an eager spirit.
With 15+ designs and over 30 pieces each, not only did they achieve the image that was in mind but also created their own exciting accessories/props for some of them. They learnt to interpret different characters and use what they got to achieve the vision in mind. Be it inanimate things like the sun or even animals like mice, they put their ideas and creations together adding flavour to the main costume. Just like salt is to a meal or pointed feet to a ballet dancer, tiny details in a costume as simple as adding a little extra glitter on some fairy wings makes all the difference on stage. It is with this attention to detail that our interns carried out their tasks.
The usual office environment was overtaken by the buzzing and vibrant energy of the artsy youth, from background Disney music to snack breaks, the atmosphere was never dull. The beauty was being able to witness the order among the chaos. Every inch of the office was used as some kind of platform of work from adding gems and stones to fish fins, to crafting fairy wings across the floor, to sitting outside on the balcony rising up a glitter storm!
They picked their hand at every type of work, from manual wire bending and hot glue guns to sticking cotton and sparkles on cupcake hats, there was no work too hard or insignificant. Switching between designs helped keep their imaginative juices flowing, also allowing everyone a chance at a task. Among all this hustle and bustle, the internships main focus stayed intact, with the aim of training and productivity at the forefront.
They learned to handle deadlines, costume specifications and actively participate and make room for each other in a team. With only 3 hours a day 5 days a week, time was a perimeter to consider. Yet with only three weeks under the belt they managed to have the complete experience of what it really takes to make a ballet production. Understanding material requirement, to practical functionality within the time limit, they managed to achieve the production of 400+ props of equal brilliance.
This in a way was a mock prep to build the confidence, knowledge and exposure required to step into the field. Even as a side interest and investment, this experience helped in developing basic professionalism, teamwork, consistency and commitment to the job. Keeping them motivated throughout the internship was free classes in Jazz, Yoga and Callanetics along with easy humour and budding friendships.
This was a learning experience for us all and we want keep this open want to encourage participation and involvement in this kind of role in our dance community. If you’re interested in being a part of this let us know! There are various ways you can contribute to a show other than dancing, so why not try your hand at the design and production part? All students from the age of 10 and above are welcome to be a part of this. If you’re free between classes you can pitch in and work at the office with our Costume Designer, you can even come an hour early before your class!
Contact us and let us know if you’re interested! Email at firstname.lastname@example.org