From Bolshoi to Belfast: The Theatre of Costume

Tutu skirts in a prison cell? Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Bolshoi ballet is coming to Belfast’s Crumlin Road Gaol.

Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast
Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast

The costumes are like works of art. They elicit gasps of awe when the curtain goes up. They are beautiful, intricate, mesmerising.

And now you can see them up close. The world’s most prestigious ballet, the Bolshoi, is coming together with the Russian Museum of Ethnography for a specially created exhibition as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's.

Revealing the very costumes that transport us into a world of fairytales and fabulousness, From Bolshoi to Belfast: Theatre of Costume is one of a kind.

Just as you’d expect from a Bolshoi production, this exhibition takes you into a world of pure fantasy. It tells the incredible story of how the traditional costumes of the people of Russia are re-imagined in the famous 20th century ballet and opera designs.

Created in Bolshoi’s own workshops in Moscow, these costumes transform the dancers into swans and villains, heroes and heroines – but it doesn’t come easy. Each intricately made garment is carefully sewn and adorned with hand-made decorations and embroidery.

The Theatre of Costume exhibition will bring together never-before-seen ballet and opera costumes, with designs that have been showcased in the fashion capitals of Europe, along with sketches and original drawings.

It’s a feast for all the senses, as the costumes in the exhibition will be surrounded by images and sounds, evoking the Bolshoi drama and intrigue.

But there’s more…

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From Bolshoi to Belfast: The Theatre of Costume is being held in one of Belfast’s most unusual landmarks, Crumlin Road Gaol. Opened in 1845 and officially closed in 1996, the Gaol is now open to the public from the holding cell right down to the Governor’s chair.

It’s an incredible location for an exhibition of this kind. And one you definitely won’t want to miss.

Can’t wait to grab your tickets? Get all the information on the exhibition here. If you want more festival fun check out all the events happening at the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

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