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[VIDEO] Behind the Scenes: The Kansas City Ballet Costume Shop Prepares For 'The Nutcracker'

Julie Denesha

In a basement room of the ​Bolender Center, Costume Shop Supervisor Jennifer Carroll and her assistant Joey Gee spend busy days fitting and repairing the costumes as the Kansas City Ballet prepares for its annual production of The Nutcracker.

Amid racks of vividly-colored silks and chiffons, the two costumers sew, dye, and, in some cases, rebuild costumes that have played a core part of the production for years.

"These costumes are 20 years old," Costume Shop Supervisor Jennifer Carroll said. "The level that I would like to keep them looking, that takes a lot of work with costumes that are made out of silks and chiffons, because those fabrics aren't meant to last 20 years, so there is a lot of repair work that goes into keeping the show looking as nice as it does."

Music in the video performed by Kevin MacLeod and licensed under Creative Commons.

"Just keeping the costumes in a good shape so they look good on stage really does take a lot of time," Jennifer Carroll said.

This year, Carroll and her assistant Joey Gee tackled the reconstruction of the Sugar Plum Fairy's tutu.

"This tutu that we had, it sort of collapsed," Gee said. "Every tutu has a hoop in it that keeps it wired and fresh and it keeps it lifted so you can see the dancer's legs. It had broken. It was sometimes poking her partner in the face, and so I really wanted to do something this year to fix it up."

Gee replaced the tutu's base restoring the lift of the skirt thus sprucing it up for another season.

"I love Nutcracker season," she said. "You listen to Christmas music all day, and then you hear Nutcracker. It is just really fun. It is my favorite time of year."

The Kansas City Ballet presents The Nutcracker, with music by Peter I. Tchaikovsky performed by the Kansas City Symphony and choreography by Kansas City Ballet’s former Artistic Director Todd Bolender, December 1 through December 23, 2012, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Julie Denesha is the arts reporter for KCUR. Contact her at julie@kcur.org.
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