Amsterdam through British eyes

Photoblog: Behind the scenes at the ballet department at Het Muziektheater

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During a tour of Het Muziektheater, we stopped off in the ballet department where we were met by Oliver Haller who is the head of the ballet department. He told us all about the work that goes in to creating ballet costumes. Did you know that they are designed and made to last for at least 35 years, or at least until they fall apart?

The costumes cost between €2,400 – €2,600 to produce, but it pays itself back over the years because they last so long. The top is a corset with boning on the inside. The seams are left open, so they can be adjusted for the ballerinas. Nowadays the corsets are made of net so that sweat evaporates, and Oliver told us that the costumes get sprayed with Vodka to kill germs and neutralise the odour after every performance.

When the costumes are done, they are kept. Sometimes they are rented out to other prodctions or sold, but they have over 10,000 costumes in storage – the oldest is from 1913. Once they are done with, a new costume is made that tries to replicate the old one.

Ballet pumps. They get through 1,200 ballet shoes per year and most of these are custom-made for each ballerina.

The inside of a 35-year old garment.

The replica corset of the original garment.

Most people think tutu’s are skirts. This isn’t true.

One of costumes made for the Muziektheater’s production of Cinderella. In total the Muziektheater made 320 new costumes. This is Cinderella’s dress.

The Muziektheater holds an open day once a year where visitors are free to go and look around. This behind the scenes trip was made possible by Amsterdam Marketing, so a big thankyou to them.

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