Arts Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Ballet Theatre Company Holding 2-22-22 Tutu Costume Benefit

Pictured is Lauren Lovette, guest artist in dress rehearsal for BTC’s 2021 production of The Nutcracker. Lovette is wearing a brand-new tutu, designed and handmade for the Sugar Plum Fairy created by BTC costume designer Pat Nurnberger. Photo by Thomas Giroir

West Hartford-based Ballet Theatre Company is capitalizing on the 2-22-22 date for a tutu costume fundraiser.

Costume rendering of characters featured in the Marketplace of BTC’s production, Aladdin. From left: The Marketplace Corps, and the Ladies of Misrule. Artist and designer: Pat Nurnberger


Ballet Theatre Company (BTC) invites the public to be a part of a fun, calendar date-based fundraising event. Between a launch on Feb. 2, 2022, and Feb. 22, 2022, BTC aims to raise $22,222 to fund the costumes for its upcoming production of “Aladdin.”

The upcoming April 23rd production of “Aladdin,” choreographed by Artistic Director Stephanie Dattellas, will feature 184 handmade costumes. Each costume is custom designed for the diverse cast of over a dozen professional ballet dancers and 53 student dancers.

The famous tutu skirt takes anywhere from 25-30 hours to complete, and up to an additional 25-30 hours to add embellishments and ornate details. On average, a tutu costs around $2,500 with the most elaborate tutus ranging between $5,000-$10,000.

To support the costumes needed to produce “Aladdin,” BTC is turning to the community to get involved with the 2.22.22 Tutu Fundraiser. The nonprofit dance company aims to raise $22,222 before Feb. 22 and welcomes donations of all sizes so that everyone can be a part of making the costumes come to life.

Costume rendering of characters featured in BTC’s production, Aladdin. From left: Palace Girl, Palace Maiden, Palace Man, Palace Boy. Artist and designer: Pat Nurnberger

The BTC “Aladdin” costumes begin with painted designs, a collaborative effort between the Artistic Director’s vision for the ballet and the BTC Costume Designer Pat Nurnberger’s expert understanding of form. The costumes will play off of the stage’s scenery to world-build the tale.

Of the process, Nurnberger says, “We set out to design the costumes based on the original ‘One Thousand and One Nights.'” “One Thousand and One Nights” or “Arabian Nights” is an ancient collection of largely Arabic, Iranian, Indian, and Chinese stories of uncertain date and authorship. “The joy of costuming ‘Aladdin’ is in orchestrating a large number of costumes; a balance between silhouettes, color, and detail makes for the biggest design challenge. Vibrant colors will give visual interest and unify groups of dancers within scenes.”

Keep an eye on the Ballet Theatre Company Facebook page and Instagram to find our fun facts about ballet costuming all month long. The fundraising will be done mostly online, but donations are welcome by mail. For checks, please note Tutu22 on the memo and mail it to Ballet Theatre Company, 20 Jefferson Ave #7, West Hartford, CT 06110 before the deadline of Feb. 22.

As a thank-you to our community for supporting the goal of $22,222, all donors will receive special recognition in the “Aladdin” ballet playbill on April 23. To donate now, visit dancebtc.org/tutu-22.

Performances of the “Aladdin” ballet will be held at The Maxwell M. and Ruth R. Belding Theater at The Bushnell on Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Visit bushnell.org to purchase your tickets. Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to secure yours today.

Costume rendering of characters featured in BTC’s production, Aladdin. The Emperor (left) and the Maghrib (evil sorcerer and vizier). Artist and designer: Pat Nurnberger

BTC is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is supported in part by State of Connecticut, Department of Economic and Community Development/Office of the Arts, CT Humanities, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Ron and Nancy Compton, The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation, Ensworth Charitable Trust, The George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, The Buchalter-Breslow Family, Connecticut Public, Cricket Press, Laurel Graphic Design, We-Ha.com, Beam & Barre, Virtus Investments, The Local 84, Jane Owens Public Relations, Hearst Media Group, and Imperial Design & Upholstering.

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