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Styles of Tutus

Styles of Tutus

Styles of Tutus

The tutu is a dress worn as a costume in a classical ballet performance, often with an attached bodice. It may be made of tarlatan, muslin, silk, tulle, gauze, or nylon. Modern tutus have two basic types: the Romantic tutu is soft and bell-shaped, reaching the calf or ankle; the Classical tutu is short and stiff, projecting horizontally from the waist and hip.

The Romantic tutu is still based on Marie Taglioni’s original costume, though modern materials mean it is lighter and maybe more transparent. The hem falls between the knee and ankle.

Classical tutu: a skirt made of 10-12 layers of stiff tulle sewn onto a pantie and basque at hip level. The lower, short layers of tulle support the top layers, making them jut out from the hip.

The Inverted Bell tutu is midway between the classical tutu and the Romantic tutu. It is made of several layers of tulle which jut out similar to a classical tutu, but the layers are longer and have a downward droop, usually to mid-thigh.

There are several versions of the modern tutu:

Pancake tutu: this tutu is supported by a hoop and is very flat, with few ruffles.

Platter tutu: similar to the pancake tutu but sitting at the waist instead of the hip.

American tutu: (also known as the Balanchine, Karinska, or powderpuff tutu): Very short ruffles of tulle are loosely sewn onto a pantie to give a soft effect.