SF Ballet Production Staff on Cinderella

Members of the Production Staff discuss the demands of their positions as they “create the magic” of a fairy tale on stage. Jane Green, Production Stage Manager, describes the complexity of running this show; Kate Share, Manager of Wardrobe, Wig, Make-up, and Costume Construction, talks about the elaborate costumes and some of the difficulties the dancers encounter in accommodating them; Ken Ryan, Master of Properties, reveals the “secrets” behind the golden slipper so important to this story.

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Header Image: Sasha de Sola in Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella // © Erik Tomasson

Nutcracker Close Up

“Costumes have to tell you in a moment what that person is feeling, what they’re going through—what changes are happening,” said Costume Designer Martin Pakledinaz, when accepting a Tony Award for his designs for Broadway’s Thoroughly Modern Millie. Pakledinaz designed the costumes for Helgi Tomasson’s Nutcracker in 2004, and added beautiful detail to each garment. Why trouble with something that may never get noticed? Even if the audience can’t see the details, the costumes help a new set of dancers get into character each year. Below are close-up details from Nutcracker costumes, followed by dancers wearing them onstage.


San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson


San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker.
(© Erik Tomasson) *** Local Caption *** NUT12BAK-_ETP3913


Elizabeth Mateer and Nathaniel Remez in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)


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Esteban Hernandez in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson


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Samantha Bristow in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)


San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)


Photos, from top: Arabian, Elizabeth Mateer and Nathaniel Remez; Russian, Esteban Hernandez; French, Samantha Bristow. All in Tomasson’s Nutcracker. All production images: © Erik Tomasson

6 Surprising Nutcracker Stats (including the Heaviest Tutu)

In the Act I battle scene, the Stahlbaums’ fireplace (above, at right in the image) grows to 22 feet tall and 19 feet wide. For perspective, that’s the size of two San Francisco cable cars stacked on top of each other.

Val Caniparoli as Drosselmeyer in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

SF Ballet’s Nutcracker has more than 300 costumes—including three separate costumes for Uncle Drosselmeyer—for different casts.

The Christmas tree growing in SF Ballet’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Drosselmeyer makes the Stahlbaums’ Christmas tree grow to a height of 30 feet in less than two minutes. It would take a real fir tree 15 to 20 years to grow as high.

Yuan Yuan Tan in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

The Snow Queen’s embellished tutu took 80 hours to make, and we have five.
That’s a total of 400 hours spent creating one character’s costume.

Francisco Mungamba in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

In Act II, the giant Fabergé eggs in the Russian dance are nine feet tall.
That’s 50 times larger than a real egg.

Lauren Parrott and Rubén Martín Cintas in Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

The ballerina doll in Act 1 has Nutcracker’s heaviest costume. Her tutu weighs 18 pounds!


Header photo: SF Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson