Ballet Solo

Joseph Altuzarra's costumes take the stage at Lincoln Center


Joseph Altuzarra and Valentino Garavani   
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The sheer yardage of tulle in the David H. Koch Theater at last night's New York City Ballet gala was staggering. How does one sit through an entire program with such a big dress? Chiu-Ti Jansen, in one such gown, said the key is in what your bustle is made of. "This is actually a dress by Madeline Gruen, a student from Pratt, and the soft tulle made the construction very light," Jansen told "It made all the difference."

The Spring Gala celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the company's 1988 American Music Festival, and included a live performance of Gershwin's "The Man I Love" by Queen Latifah. It also marked the latest in a string of designer costume collaborations. This time around, it was Joseph Altuzarra's turn. Having trained as a dancer in Paris, he was particularly well qualified for the task. But no live performance is without risk. During the final act, one dancer almost lost her dress. "A clip mustn't have been snapped correctly. It happens," Altuzarra said with a smile. "But it was not a design flaw!"

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