Today, December 18th, it’s a choice between Clowns and Classical Ballet as your fancy dress theme. In 1779 on this date the so-called Father of Clowns, Joseph Grimaldi was born. Although clowning had existed beforehand, with roots in Italian Commedia del ‘arte and the
Harlequinade, it was Grimaldi who is credited with creating the principles of modern clowning and he was famed for his work with pantomimes such as Mother Goose.
However Clowns are not to everyone’s taste (in fact some find them downright scary) and so we can console ourselves with the fact the in 1892 today saw the premiere of another seasonal favourite – The Nutcracker Ballet. Although most people know some of the tunes (they usually turn up in TV commercials at this time of the year) the story is less well known. It involves presents under a Christmas tree coming to life on the stroke of midnight, a battle between a group of gingerbread soldiers (led by the Nutcracker toy and assisted by toy soldiers and dolls) and a gang of mice led by The Mouse King, with Clara, the heroine, saving the Nutcracker from a nasty end by distracting the King at a crucial moment. She is rewarded by the Nutcracker turning into a handsome prince and taking her off to celebrate in the Land of Sweets. Admittedly a bit of a challenge on the costuming front, but well worth exploring if you’re looking for a seasonal theme with a difference.
If you want to make these themes a bit easier why not broaden Clowns out to include ‘Big Top’, and The Nutcracker to include all Ballets.
Ideas for ‘Big Top’ or Circus – some wise spark is bound to arrive wearing the largest top ever (it is a ‘big top’ after all!)
- Clowns – We stock a large range of clown accessories including red noses, wigs, make up , shoes. Don’t forget to look at some of our horror clowns as well in our Halloween range.
- Ringmaster – wear a tailcoat, top hat and a bull whip – we, of course, stock them all.
- Horse Tamers – wear a cowboy or cowgirl outfit
- Knife Thrower – wear an Indian costume
- How about going as an animal? We stock a large range of animal masks
What about ideas for costume inspiration for the Ballet? Well, there are many ballet productions, why not wear a traditional costume? We do also stock tutus and adult tights (yes, even mens tights!) if you wanted to produce a comical ballet look.
- Swan Lake – difficult to costume, nothing readily available to purchase for this
- Peter & the wolf – peasant costumes
- Cinderella – all the traditional costumes could be worn
- Romeo & Juliet - wear one of the traditional costumes
- Sleeping Beauty