The Tutu Project

The Tutu Project



Kitri, Act III from Don Quixote – First Performed November 6, 1985. Designed by Desmond Heeley. Photo by Setareh Sarmadi.

The role of the spirited Kitri has been performed by some of the National Ballet’s most illustrious ballerinas including Karen Kain, Gizella Witkowsky and Sonia Rodriguez. A stylized adaptation of historical Spanish dress, this tutu has been interpreted to better reveal the dancer’s footwork, as with all classical tutus. Nicholas Beriozoff’s Don Quixote has become a favourite production for many in the company thanks to Former Artistic Director Erik Bruhn. Bruhn, who had an excellent international reputation when he was a dancer, is credited with successfully procuring Beriozoff’s choreography for the company in 1985.

The designs for Don Quixote are by celebrated international stage designer Desmond Heeley, most famous for his talent of creating wondrous, vibrant environments with the absence of obvious colour. Don Quixote’s sets and costumes are steeped in Iberian ambiance which exudes fantasy and accentuates the storybook nature of the ballet. The bold red of this tutu puts Kitri clearly in the forefront of the dance drama of her wedding depicted in the final Act.

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Top image credit: The National Ballet of Canada tutus on display. Photo by Setareh Sarmadi.