Dancing with the Stars


One of the visual inspirations for Cinderella was the night sky. The Guests at the Prince’s ball dress in rich costumes the colour of twilight, and the ceiling of the ballroom itself fades into twinkling stars.

The Stars also feature at the end of Act I, played by a stagefull of ballerinas in glittering tutus who accompany the Fairy Godmother’s transformation of Cinderella into her ballgown.

The costumes were designed by John Macfarlane, who also designed Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

Here you can see some of John’s original designs for the tutus.

From John’s designs, the tutus were made by hand, including all of the decoration. Here you can see photographs of the Stars’ costumes being created ahead of the 2010 premiere, as well as a shot of them being worn in the wings during a performance.

When not in use, the tutus are hung upside-down in order to preserve the bounce(!) For example, the tutus in the picture below are worn by Cinderella in the ballroom scene, and at first glance look relatively plain, as the silver patterning seen on stage is hidden underneath.


While Birmingham Royal Ballet are away on tour this week, a skeleton wardrobe staff have remained back at our Thorp Street HQ. They are currently checking over the star tutus and all of the rest of the costumes to ensure that no repairs need to be made ahead of the new performances of Cinderella this winter.