Named after the French slang for “bottom”, and as familiar to our dancers as their toothbrushes, the tutu still casts a spell. In this beautiful pictorial, our dancers tell us what they love about their favourite tutus.
Photography Jo Duck
Juliet Burnett, rehearsal tutu
We rehearse for “tutu roles” in half-tutus, an unadorned tutu comprising of just the basque and the skirt. They make part of our work uniform – perhaps as cumbersome, but a tad more elegant, than an astronaut’s spacesuit or a diver’s oxygen tank and flippers. It’s important for us to wear the tutu during rehearsals in order to deal with its challenges as we learn the choreography, especially for a pas de deux so that our partners can negotiate this very elegant obstacle … The Australian Ballet usually performs at least two ballets per year in which you will see tutus, so it’s safe to say that I spend a lot of time wearing one. So much so that one of my half-tutus has a Vegemite stain on the tulle. Vegemite sandwiches are my favourite between-rehearsal snack. Don’t mistake this as a lack of reverence for the very icon of my livelihood … my goodness, I do love dancing in it.