The Tutu Project

The Tutu Project


Odile, new

Odile from Swan Lake - First Performed May 5, 1999. Designed by Santo Loquasto. Photo by Setareh Sarmadi.

This tutu has been worn by many artists who have mastered the dual role of Odette/Odile including Chan Hon Goh, Jennifer Fournier and Greta Hodgkinson who created the role. Former Artistic Director James Kudelka’s Swan Lake features dynamic choreography which heightens the tension between the natural and the supernatural. This production restores the ballet to its full mythic power and traditional storyline while adapting it for a contemporary audience.

With striking designs by eminent set and costume designer Santo Loquasto, Kudelka’s Swan Lake explores gender roles and places male and female dancers on equal footing. The settings for the court scenes and the lakeside scenes are strongly contrasted: the court symbolizes patriarchy, masculinity and decay, while the lake represents a feminine space without rigid hierarchy. Loquasto and Kudelka consulted a number of sources for inspiration including Bram Dijkstas’ Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Si├Ęcle Culture which features symbolic images of dark and mysterious women. The design of the black swan Odile’s black tutu features an iridescent top layer reminiscent of an oil slick stain on a body of water.

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