Ballet tutu

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Edgar Degas, Classical Bell Tutus in "The Dance Class" by Degas, 1874)
Anna Pavlova in Giselle, wearing a Romantic Tutu
Alexandra Ansanelli wearing a pancake tutu.

A tutu is a skirt worn as a costume in a ballet performance, often with attached bodice. It consists of a Basque (or waistband, as it can either be part of the bodice or a separate band) and the skirt itself might be single layer, hanging down, or multiple layers starched and jutting out. The bell-shaped Romantic dress of the mid-1800s gave way to the tutu at the end of the 19th century. Connoisseurs of ballet, the Russians wanted to see the new technical feats and fancy footwork of their ballerinas. The new long, floppy, 16 layer tutus reached to the knee and allowed the female dancers much greater mobility in such technically demanding ballets as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Paquita. The late George Balanchine's athletic choreography later led to the creation of the shorter "powder-puff" tutu that is worn in Symphony in C. These tutus allow the entire leg to be seen.

Etymology[edit]

The word 'tutu' has its origins in the theatre audience. Those who bought cheaper tickets sat in a section located in the lower part of the theatre. This area gave the patrons sitting there a different view than the rest of the audience; they could often see under the ballerinas' skirts and see their bottoms. This led to a lot of talk and eventually, the French slang word for this part of the ballerina, cucu became 'tutu.'[citation needed]

Composition[edit]

Types[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Ballet tutus at Wikimedia Commons