Ballet and tutus go together like peanut butter and jelly. Tutus are the perfect, elegant ballerina skirts for adults and kids that are designed to show off the long legs of the dancer, but in a classy way. They reveal the role or the character of the dancer in a split second. Whether the ballerina is dancing like a white swan, or as a crying heartbroken peasant – the tutu will hint the plot without the need for narration or subtitles.
These ballerina skirts for adults and kids can be made of muslin, tarlatan, silk, nylon or gauze. But, today, tutus are most often made with tulle – a thin, net-like, lightweight fabric. The softness varies depending on the type of tutu you need. Each ballet performance has a story to tell. So, each story needs a different type of tutu in order to bring all of that to a completion.
The Romantic Tutu
This type of tutu first appeared in Paris in 1832. Marie Taglioni wore it in La Sylphide. This model was cut right above the ankle in order to show off her famous footwork. Since then, dancers all over the world have embraced the idea that ballerinas should look seemingly dreamy and weightless. And the romantic type of tutu entails just that. It is long and flowy, usually made of 3-5 layers of soft tulle. You can find models of romantic tutus starting from the waist or from the hip.
The Classical Tutu
The changes continued on. Ever since ballerinas perfected their pointe work, tutus were cut above the knee so that the audience can witness the complicated ballet footwork and properly appreciate it. This change resulted in the classical type of tutu – jutting out horizontally from the hips, making the legs visible. Today, classical tutu can be found in four different styles. Read on for details.
The Pancake Tutu – It comes straight out of the hip. The pancake tutu is short and features several layers of tulle and net. Quite often, pancake tutus are sewn on a pair of briefs so that no accidental slips are ever a risk. These also feature a wire hoop that is embedded between the layers. This wire helps it retain its stiff, horizontal shape.
The Platter Tutu – This type is a bit similar to the above-mentioned pancake tutu. The only difference is that the platter tutu comes with a more flat top. Plus, the top layer of the platter tutu is decorated instead of being pleated like the romantic one.
The Bell Tutu – The bell tutu is a short and stiff skirt made with multiple layers of netting that falls down to the exact same length. It has a bell-like shape, hence the name, and the netting layers have no hoops for support. It is loosely tacked instead.
The Powder-Puff Tutu – And lastly, the powder-puff tutu is also short and has fewer layers of netting. What makes it different than the other types is that it doesn’t go as far out as the pancake and platter ones. While the ballerina is dancing, the powder-puff tutu moves with the dancer thus giving her a softer and fuller appearance.