The Rockettes—A Glittering New York Spectacular

The Rockettes—A Glittering New York Spectacular

When we hear the name Rockettes we think of the famous dancing company from early last century. Not just any dancer gets accepted into the Rockettes—one must have exceptional pose and balance, and fluidly follow the movements of the other dancers, so all appear to move as one. The great costume and dress designs are also another great reason to buy a ticket. The Rockettes are a famous dance company that was founded in 1925, and have been performing at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City since 1932. Each year, 500 women audition for the chance to be a star. This year’s show promises to dazzle and amaze with it’s “New York Spectacular” theme, with a variety of glittering and sparkling costumes made with crystals.

The story begins with three children becoming separated from their parents while on a trip to New York. New York’s most iconic sites come alive for them. The summer Rockettes wear unforgettable costumes, while dancing to a great soundtrack of classics, pop hits, and new compositions. In one number, the dancers are wearing black suits with long sleeved jackets and shorts, with large sparkling polka dots lit up with LED lights. Their black hats are also adorned with sparkles. In another set, the dancers are wearing 1920s-style flapper dance dresses in shimmery silver sparkles. As the dancers whirl, the fringe on their dresses moves with them, presenting a flashy and sparkly display. One of their sets called “Singin’ in the Rain” has the Rockettes performing in bright yellow raincoats with pink ruffles, and matching gumboots. Each Rockette dances with an open umbrella in hand that resembles a giant pink blossomed flower. The show even involves actual “rain”.
The show takes the kids through a variety of famous landmarks in New York: Grand Central Terminal, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wall Street, Central Park, and more. It’s a reworking of last year’s Rockettes Spring Spectacular, but with some differences to attract revisits from their loyal audience.

The Rockettes were choreographed by Mia Michaels from So You Think You Can Dance. The show was written by Douglas Carter Beane and the costumes were designed by Emilio Sosa. Emilio is also known as Esosa, and he’s been nominated for many awards for his costume sewing designs, and has been on Project Runway, and designed for many other Broadway shows. He also worked on the costumes for last spring’s New York Spectacular. In the past, the Rockettes’ costumes have been known to be adorned with Swarovski crystals, some of the best and most glittering faux gems. During their 2012 show, one of their costumes had over 3000 Swarovski crystals on it. The Rockettes’ New York Spectacular is a glittery pageant, full of music, dance, sets, costume and dress designs. With so much to see, don’t expect a lot of story line at one of their —it’s mostly visual—but go for the enjoyment of a world-class show full of amazing dancers and incredible costumes.


Costume Designs for the Biggest Show in the World!

Costume Designs for the Biggest Show in the World!

„I dreamed of working on a revue ever since I was a little boy.”

THE ONE is a glamorous historical revue that is taking place from 22nd of September 2016 in Friedrichstadt-Palast theatre in Berlin, Germany. Many have named it the “Biggest Show in the World!” This show features a journey through time, and is noted for having its stage costumes designed by world-renowned costume designer Jean Paul Gaultier. This show is called, “THE ONE” for being one of the grandest shows in the world today.


The grand show of THE ONE is reminiscent of the biggest Las Vegas shows, complete with music, performers, guests, intricate sets, a theme, and glamours stage costumes. THE ONE features over 500 different glamorous costume designs that have taken several months to create. The show’s theme is a glimpse of a theatre’s past, to find the one who means everything to us. In many of the costume designs that Jean Paul Gaultier has designed, we can see hundreds of beautifully sparkling crystals. Some of the more stunning stage costumes are encrusted with clear white or colourful crystals, flowing fabrics, feathers, and more. Every costume in the show have been designed by Jean Paul Gaultier. This show is more of a revue, which doesn’t feature a long intricate storyline, instead being a series of entertaining vignettes, which may serve one purpose.

The One from 22nd of September

The show is actually centred around a former theatre, and how one little boy makes it come alive again. The resplendent costume designs help to bring the theatre to life, and attract new audience goers to its renewed cause. The revue show features a former theatre director who sees the possibilities of the future. He sees the past through his thoughts. Past and present come together in one giant show. While these events are taking place, he is aware that he is in search of that one person who will mean everything to him, THE ONE. The revue features dancers, music, and performers. The costumes are extravagant, even if each only features for a two minute curtain dance, or parade. Parisian haute couture comes alive on the Berlin stage. Even the light design has been created by Peter Morse, an Emmy Award winner, to bring the thousands of Swarovski crystals to light. These 500 costumes are worn by over 100 artists on the stage. This show took a budget of eleven million euros, making it the most lavish show in Europe.

Crystal Scarabeus Green

Jean Paul Gaultier was also responsible for working with Swarovski to design Kaputt Swarovski crystals. These crystals were unveiled at his Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture collection. These crystals feature a special cut, and many are of varying shapes and designs, with holes to make it easier to sew onto costumes and outfits. He was also instrumental in designing the Scarabaeus green crystals for Swarovski. But these crystals display more than flashes of green, they are oval bead-shaped and display a variety of aurora colours that are displayed in flashes and turns, from orange, red, to pink and gold. Get Scarabaeus Green in our webshop available in flat back HotFix & NonHotfix!
THE ONE could become the biggest show in the world, so get your tickets NOW: Palast Berlin The One Tickets

Costume Design Plans is “The One” stage costume company that gives you from costume designing until the final costume creation. All in one made by professional Showbiz team.

Toruk – Avatar Cirque du Soleil – costumes of Na’vis

Toruk – Avatar Cirque du Soleil – costumes of Na’vis

Preparing a theatre version of a film or even an animation movie is always a great challenge. It is extremely a big job, if the original film is a 60 percent 3D animation movie – like Avatar. Do you remember the James Cameron movie?

Cameron created a whole world of Pandora moon, including the inhabitants: the Na’vis – the blue humanoids with long tails, the animals – like the top predator Thanator, the Direhorses with 6 legs, or the Toruk, the 25 m wide flying animal. As it is described, Toruk is a wild animal, taming succeeded only once by the grandfather of Neytiri, the daughter of the leader of the Na’vi tribe.

The theatre version of Avatar-story come out this December under the title of: ‘TORUK – The First Flight.’ The story of ‘Toruk’ is dated 3000 years ahead of Avatar-story. There are no humans, no spaceships, no battles – the key word is: organic.

The producing company to put ‘Toruk’ on the stage is the famous Canadian company, Cirque du Soleil.

It’s new to have an actor onstage talking, to have a show based on story instead of acrobatic acts. There’s a lot of acrobatic in the show, but it’s like narrative acrobatic. Everything has to contribute to the story.

said Michel Lemieux, one of the two co-directors of Cirque du Soleil’s ambitious new project ‘Toruk’.

Actors and puppeteers play the Na’vis – no animatronics nor robots. Acrobatics are important elements of the show, but in this case narrative acrobatic elements: each of them contributes the story.

Costumes of ‘Toruk’

The costume and makeup designer of ‘Toruk’ is Kym Barrett. Let’s take a look at her carrier up to ‘Toruk’!

Barrett has mastered a vast array of theater, TV and film genres including action, adventure, animation, circus, comedy, crime, fantasy, horror, mystery, opera, period (1800s-1980s), romance, science fiction, and thriller. She debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2012 having designed the costumes for The Tempest directed by Robert Lepage.

TORUK – The First Flight is her second collaboration with Cirque du Soleil after TOTEM.

What was the main challenge of designing costumes for Toruk?

First of all, it must have been in line with the make-up, which is quite important – as the Na’vis have their special characteristics: blue body, big eyes, cat-like head. The blue body colors are provided by leotards, while other parts of the costumes reflects the key word of Pandora: “organic”.

As Kym Barrett explained, all costumes must have had an organic handmade look – as if Na’vis would have done them of “available” materials from trees, plants etc. The costume design is not finished even after the opening show: the actor, the director and even the lights rehearsal could make changes to have a better look, to create the stage version of the myth.


Sources: Entertainment, Cirque u Soleil


Stage costume for three generations

Stage costume for three generations

My grandparents used to be famous Hungarian artistes in the 60s, 70s and 80s with their acrobatic show – called Duo Ernesto and later Susy & Ernesto. They performed in the best vaudevilles, cabarets, shows and revues.

This blog post is written based on my grandma’s storytelling: costumes and stage dresses were extremely important in stage performances at that times as well. She explained how the stage costumes influenced her whole professional life…

During my entire professional life my stage costumes had important roles and had a huge effect on our success as artistes in Europe during the 60s, 70s and 80s – says Zsuzsanna Kövesi Farkas.

My costumes were designed and prepared by myself. At the designing I always took into account my figure and my movements on the stage and the impression it gives in terms of being attractive and sexy.

I had so many stage costumes that the colleagues came to see each time what I wear…

Variete posters
Variete posters

Except Romania and Albania we performed in all European countries with my husband in different well-known and famous vaudevilles, caffés, cabarets, casinos etc. throughout 25 years with an acrobatic show. This show was special, because I was wearing high heel shoes for the acrobatic elements.

We performed in places like Friedrichstadt Palast, Urania Palast (East Berlin), Red Rose (West Berlin), Mocambo Cabaret (Bern), Kursal Casino (Baden), Eden Cabaret (Leipzig), Café Drag (Dresden), Steintor Variete Halle (East Germany), Intermezzo (München), El Amra Variete (Rotterdam), Splendid Cabaret (Luxembourg), Rozmaryn (Czechoslovakia), Aeros Variete (Leipzig), Tabaris Variete Rosand (Switzerland) etc.

Working together – Duo Ernesto

Working together - Duo Ernesto
Working together – Duo Ernesto

In the 1950s the performing artistes’ dresses in Hungary did not have any decorations – or just a few – because at that time it was impossible to buy rhinestones and flitters in Hungary. In 1957 my husband was performing in Spain in an acrobatic trio act. For the first time in his life he has seen glimmering and shining costumes and so called net tights on dancers – and he was impressed. He discontinued the Spanish contract, returned to Hungary and told me that he had missed me a lot and he wanted me to be with him always… I was a dancer and a gymnast and he was a very good comic character – so we took all the possibilities in consideration and had the idea of a funny dance and acrobatic act together.

The very first costume

The very first costume
The very first costume


We started to work hard on our common showpiece. After several months of hard practicing we could start performing. But before starting to contract with our act, we needed a so called artistes’ licence, and to get the licence we had to take an exam with our showpiece in front of the artiste committee. The exam was at the Kamara Variete in Budapest, for what we had to invent a costume very quickly.

At that time there was not a huge supply of costume fabrics in Hungary – so I bought blue and white striped fabrics and prepared my costume in sailorman-style. So we performed our show as sailors on the exam.

It was so successful that the director of the Kamara Variete offered a several months’ contract for us. We accepted it happily.

When we started our performances at Kamara Variete, the director called for the theather company and said that we would have foreign guests on the next week’s performance: directors of varietes and different agents seaching for new show elements. I don’t have to say how suspenful we were…

And the day arrived when the agents and other important people were sitting in the first row. We were very exited, but the debut was successful. After the performance a piece of paper was hanged behind the stage with the names of the artistes who were interesting for the agents or directors. We were surprised to read: “We call Duo Ernesto to the Manager Office; Aeros Variete wants to discuss with.”

We were extremely happy to get a one year contract for 1958 to Leipzig, to the Aeros Variete. This was our first common debut with my husband in abroad.

The first step to abroad

The first step to abroad
The first step to abroad

We started our performances at Leipzig Variete. One day after the performance a gentleman came to us, an agent, and said that he was searching for show elements to Friedrichstadt Palast, East Berlin for 1959 and our show fit perfectly to the concept.

He asked us whether we were interested in this opportunity. During the iron curtain era, after the 1956 Hungarian revolution it was very difficult for Hungarians to get visa – we mentioned this to the agent. His answer was: “we take care of it with MACIVA”. (MACIVA – Hungarian Circus and Variete, an association of artistes in Hungary)

Of course we were interested, so we discussed the details and two weeks later he brought to contract with him to Leipzig. We did not know too much about Friedrichstadt Palast, but the colleagues in Leipzig explained us that this was a high quality, well-known revu show, and it still is, even nowadays: one of the highest quality, biggest stage revu show worldwide. Our colleagues explained that this was a famous place with fantastic costumes, huge scenery and ballet. Hearing that we came to the conclusion: we couldn’t perform in our sailor costume in such an elite place!

Returning home after our Leipzig contract we spent all of our money on stage costumes, elegant and marvallous ones for our show, hoping that it would suit the Berlin revu…

Berlin – Friedrichstadt Palast

Berlin - Friedrichstadt Palast
Berlin – Friedrichstadt Palast

In the spring of 1959 we travelled to East Berlin,, to a new world, very excited. East Berlin was a “political shopwindow” of Eastern Germany: it was possible to buy everything and entertainment was top quality. They wanted to show that they could keep the pace with Western Germany.

At that time we heard in Hungary: “Be careful with western people, they are bad and provocative…” We went to East Berlin, not West, but we were very curious about the life of western people…

When the rehearsal period started at Friedrichstadt Palace, the director came to us and said that we would be in the Boat Scene, where the scenery was a huge boat, the dancer girls would wear sailor costume, so we had to perform with our acrobatic show in our own sailor costume! They asked us to dress up into our sailor costume and show ourselves.

We were looking at each other with my husband and said that the sailor costume is not there, because we have new costumes… The director and the others were astonished – what could we do? Due to the visa issues we arrived late to the rehearsal, and time was not enough to sew a new sailor costume. Therefore they asked us to show our new costumes. We stepped onto the huge stage excited.. As we were coming to the stage in our new elegant costumes, the director shouted: “that’s it! That would be perfect!”

After the debut the director of Friedrichstadt Palace came to us saying: “A great carreer is waiting for you in the west!”

During the performances we admired the stage costumes of the dancers, and we were impressed by the glamour, decorations, rhinestones, feathers and sexy lines of the stage costumes. That was the point when our attention was really drawn to elegant and nice costumes in stage appearance. We realized very quickly that we could step forward only if we put huge emphasis on costumes! We spent more of our monthly salaries on costumes, to reach the best appearance and impact.

After getting known that the shining decorations for the stage dresses were from West Berlin, we went there to do the shopping for ourselves. Before the building up of the wall it was not so difficult to get through, and we had a special diplomat visa, so we could go as many times as we wanted and could bring whatever we wanted from West to East!

Soviet tour – where a nice costumes was a sin…

Soviet tour
Soviet tour

After the Berlin contract period we returned to Hungary. MACIVA – the Hungarian Circus and Variete – sent a complete performance to the Soviet Union with a longer contract. The company was performing in the bigger towns of the Soviet Union, in circuses.

Just returned from Berlin and having seen the sexy costumes of the dancers, I thought I prepare a stage costume for myself in crochet! This crochet costume was covering only the most feminine parts of my body!

The company performed in Moscau when a delegation arrived from Moscau, from the so called Russian State Circus. After the show they called the director of our company asking him what this dress was on the lady in Duo Ernesto??? Seemed they did not like my costume. The director reported it to MACIVA in a telegram… We did not know about it, of course.

Getting a sack… the biggest luck!

Getting a sack... the biggest luck!
Getting a sack… the biggest luck!

As the Soviet contract was finished, we returned to Hungary. We were called to the office of MACIVA, and said that the Soviets were “hurted” by my costume, and we were cosmopolitans, West-loving people. They said that we couldn’t be MACIVA artistes in the future and gave us a sack!

They stated that 10% of all of our future contracts must be paid in. In return they took care of the visa and let our family members visit us. If we miss the 10% payment, our performing licence and passport would be withdrawn.

We accepted, and we came out of the office extremely happily! It would meant that our income would be multiplied (because the artists who worked for MACIVA got a very low daily payment) – and we were full of contract offers from East to West.

After this point our career was kicked off, as the director of Friedrichstadt Palast had predicted! We performed throughout Europe in the best places, and we were occupied for the next 2-3 years all the time.

Three generations’ costume design

Three generations' costume design
Three generations’ costume design

At the end of the 70s we created one aditional act. It was a Magic act and I thought I design a very sexy costume for that, because during an magic act I didn’t have to make so many movements. I wanted to prepare a very sexy dress, made of beads solely. I ordered beads from the U.S., and I prepared the Costume of My Life during one of our tours in abroad. I even did not dare to think that this costume would look perfect even 30 years later, and my daughter and my granddaughter would wear it!

I wore this costume in Moulin Rouge, Vienna for our illusionist show. After the performance the director came to me, saying: “It is all the same what you do, but if your wear this costume, it is an attraction and total success by itself!”

That is the role of the costumes in a show – in my life it was such an important element. We could have been grateful to our simple sailor costume that our career has started. What if I had bought red fabrics…

I am over 80, but I still feel myself an actress in my heart. If I would be born again, I would be an artiste again…

The Three Generations!!!

The Three Generations
The Three Generations

…and I wear my granny’s costume proudly today…

Kristina Eötvös