Finding The Perfect Fit

Finding The Perfect Fit

Photos: The Art of Fitting Swan Lake

Finding a dancer’s perfect fit is a science and an art, where safety and comfort are key and the result stays true to the designer’s vision.

Each year, SF Ballet’s wardrobe team indexes exacting measurements of the company members, from forearm circumference to palm lengths and forehead widths. The season’s costumes are then either pulled from storage, arranged to be borrowed from another company, or made anew by the costume construction team.

As summer turns to fall and costumes have been sourced, refreshed, or constructed anew, our studios transform into a fitting wonderland, where the season’s costumes are hung on racks, shoes fill buckets, and dancers are finally fit into their costumes between rehearsals. We caught up with Principal Dancer Nikisha Fogo, Soloist Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, and Corps de Ballet member Alexander Reneff-Olson at this year’s fittings.

Deivison-Oliveira and dresser Phil Perry have worked together since Deivison-Oliveira was a student at SF Ballet School nearly 20 years ago.

Head of Men’s Wardrobe Corrida Godbold evaluates Deivison-Oliveira’s fit for Swan Lake’s czardas.

Principal Dancer Nikisha Fogo is fit into her white swan costume with the help of Head of Women’s Wardrobe Megan Gulla.

Fogo is all smiles as the black swan.

Each costume is intricately detailed, with hand-sewn embellishments and stitching. Swan tutus are seen in racks that promote airflow while retaining each tutu’s delicate structure.

Corps de Ballet member Alexander Reneff-Olson is fit into Swan Lake’s czardas costume.

SF Ballet’s 23–24 Season single tickets are on sale now.


All photos © San Francisco Ballet, by Lindsey Rallo