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Lady in Waiting Costume from The Sleeping Princess Ballet
Designed by Léon Bakst

Dolls and Costumes Website
Susan Kramer

Costume from The Sleeping Princess ballet by Leon Bakst in 1921

This costume was designed by Léon Bakst in 1921 for a Lady-in-Waiting in the ballet "The Sleeping Princess" choreographed by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes in Moscow, Russia.

Notice how sumptuous the materials appear - they were hand dyed to match the designs and colors of the artist's paintings. Much painstaking care went into making a detailed costume such as this.

Ballets Russes productions in the early 20th century were costly with all the elaborate costuming, and "The Sleeping Princess" was one of the last of these extravagantly presented ballets.

Of course, not much of a dancer's body could be seen moving around, so this type of ornate costume was worn only by a dancer who did not have much action on stage.

The main dancers in the ballets had much skimpier costumes that let their legs and arms show!

Article by Susan Kramer; photograph was taken by Stan Schaap on a visit to Groninger Museum in Groningen, The Netherlands.


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page updated January 4, 2009