Blog: Brandywine's Ballet Bag!

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  • Behind the Curtain

    There are a lot of moving parts when producing a new full-length ballet. Choreography, music, and the dancers play the largest role in piecing together the story. But elements such as sets and costuming take nearly as long to formulate. The new production of Beauty & The Beast coming this May has seen a total transformation of all of these components. Our seamstresses, set designers, and other helpers have been hard at work to make sure all of the pieces come together before May 19th.

    Beauty & The Beast has at least four major scenes. All of these scenes have elements that must be built, rented, purchased, or compiled. Our set designer and builder Kent Vendrick has been hard at work designing different pieces including a bookshelf, fountain, window, wall, rose garland, and more. Below is a to-scale representation of our stage’s floor and wing space at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, showcasing what the Beast’s Castle may look like during the ballet.

    From there, the heavy lifting begins. It takes countless hours to build such magnificent items, and to later transport to and install them at the theater during tech week. As we are approximately 5 weeks away from show week, we are right in the midst of the building process. Not only are there large-scale physical pieces to build, but there is painting, sewing, and more. Take a look below at some of the finer details you will see in our sets.

    Costumes are another element that takes many months to piece together. After the selection, order, and delivery process, fittings and alterations may take weeks to complete. Each costume also requires accessories like headpieces, shoes and tights, and any additional pieces that may suit the character. Some of the costumes for this ballet are being completely handmade in a custom format for our dancers, while other costumes are being re-worked to fit the ballet. Multiply this process by the approximate 100 dancers that are in Beauty & The Beast, and its no wonder it takes a village!


    All of this work must be completed by tech rehearsal week, approximately 4-7 days before the first performance. Dancers then spend several days rehearsing and running through the show in full costume amongst the completed sets. The final result is a beautiful production of a full-length storybook ballet. See this magical world, with all of its fantastic elements, come together May 19-21 at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall in West Chester. Beauty & The Beast is sure to excite and entice your entire family as you enter a fairytale land of wonder.