PRESS: Louisville Ballet Scrapped The Traditional Tutu For Its Revolutionary ‘Swan Lake’ Costumes

by Erica Rucker, LEO Weekly

The Louisville Ballet’s performance of “Swan Lake” has a few more shows. One of the outstanding aspects of the new show is the Ballet’s collaboration with local artists on lighting and costuming. LEO asked costume designer Tiffany Woodard a few questions about the designs and how she worked with the ballet to add some modern elements to a classic favorite.

LEO Weekly: What was the vision for the costumes for this performance of ‘Swan Lake’? 

Tiffany Woodard: When Robert [Curran, Louisville Ballet artistic and executive director] and I first began discussions about the costumes for this season’s performance, we knew we wanted to elevate the design of the swan costumes significantly from the show in 2016. The thing that is so incredible about Louisville Ballet’s rendition of “Swan Lake” is that it intentionally plays up this juxtaposition between the traditional and the modern. You have this classic choreography and music married with a futuristic laser light show — and we wanted the swan costumes to mirror that.

How did you create costumes to reflect that? 

The new swan costumes incorporate this juxtaposition as well. They were designed using elements of origami, a traditional, centuries-old art form rooted in craft. But the clean, angular, geometric shapes and lines add a wholly futuristic element — capturing the theme in a tangible representation and pulling it onto the stage via the swans themselves.



November 11-14 2021
The Brown Theatre
Choreography by Robert Curran
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchakiovsky

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The Brown-Forman Nutcracker

December 11-23, 2021
Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center
Choreography by Val Caniparoli
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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January 12-22, 2022
Louisville Ballet Studios

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Spotlight Series: Impressionism to Jazz

March 3-5, 2022
The Brown Theatre
A mixed repertory evening featuring:


Choreography by George Balanchine

Music: "Pelléas et Mélisande" + "Shylock" by Gabriel Fauré

In G Major

Choreography by Jerome Robbins
Music: "Piano Concerto in G Major" by Maurice Ravel

World Premiere Work

Music by Louisville-based Jazz Composer and Musician, Dick Sisto

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Sleeping Beauty

March 31 - April 2, 2022
The Brown Theatre
Choreography by Adam Hougland
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchakiovsky

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