Born in 1926 Diana Adams was the favorite of George Balanchine and ruled the stage of the New York City Ballet from 1950 to 1963. She was the leading dancer for NYCB. When Diana retired from the stage, she switched to successful teaching and training young ballerinas and eventually became a dean at the School of American Ballet. She died on January 10, 1993.
One can not confuse a ballet tutu with any other female skirt. Designers use various materials to create tutus, the most traditional among them are tulle, voile, muslin and nylon.
It’s been a couple of centuries since female ballet dancers started using tutus during ballet performance. To an untrained eye they all look the same, but balletomanes know that it is not true. In the modern ballet there are 4 major types of tutus worn for ballet dancing. Two of them are classical with the difference in shape (bell or pancake). And the other too are romantic tutu and Balanchine-Karinska tutu.
Classical tutus of both types extend outwards from the hips. They are made with layers of netting and have fitted bodice. The main difference between them is that the tutu shaped as a bell does not use a wired hoop while the pancake tutu uses one that keeps the layers flat and stiff.
Romantic Tutu is probably the most famous of all ballet clothing. Specialists say that Marie Taglioni, famous ballet dancer of Romantic ballet era invented it and popularized it among European ballet dancers. This bell shaped tulle skirt is free flowing and emphasizes lightness and ethereal quality of the romantic ballets. The length varies between the knee and the ankle.
The last type of a tutu has an interesting origin. Father of American ballet and famous ballet master George Balanchine often choreographed ballets with a large assembly of dancers on stage. This led to an unusual problem with the traditional pancake tutus – ballerinas skirts often brushed against each other.
In 1950 famous designer Karinska that costumed Ballanchine’s ballets solved this problem. She invented so-called powder puff tutu that had looser appearance than a stiff pancake tutu. Her newly designed tutu was self supporting and did not require the wired hoop anymore.
Ballet is a highly technical form of dance with its origins in the Italian Renaissance court, where it emerged in the late 15th century as a dance interpretation of fencing. Later ballet was developed into a very complicated dance works with mime, acting and other components that are set to music. Ballet has graceful, flowing and very precise movements with almost ethereal qualities.