WA Ballet on the sale trail: Garage Sale Trail

WA Ballet dancers Ashleigh Bennett and Polly Hilton with some of the costumes that will be offered for sale at the Grande Costume Sale on October 24.   Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au   d444393
WA Ballet dancers Ashleigh Bennett and Polly Hilton with some of the costumes that will be offered for sale at the Grande Costume Sale on October 24. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au d444393

WA Ballet, based in Maylands, is opening the doors of its wardrobe department and selling costumes from past productions on October 24 as part of the annual Garage Sale Trail.

One of an expected 10,000 garage sales being held during the fifth national event, the WA Ballet Grande Costume Sale will include the sale of entire cast costumes from more than 30 shows, individual costumes, vintage clothing, homewares and baked goods.

Wardrobe deputy head Kate Ebsary said most of the sale items were from small shows such as Quarry or Genesis, with a handful from more classical shows like Giselle and Romeo and Juliet.

“There are also many one-off items that have been separated from their shows throughout the years and will be sold individually,” she said.

“We have a few costumes that have been worn by Daryl Brandwood and our company’s principal dancer Jayne Smeulders.

“In their heyday, a costume can be worth quite a lot – a more traditional romantic tutu with a bodice, like a Giselle Willi, can cost around $2000 – but over the years, with age and a lot of stage wear, the quality can diminish, therefore lower the worth of the costume.”

Ebsary said the sale of an entire show’s costumes would be discounted, with a rough price range for an individual costume of $25 to $250 and a show from $100 to $2000.

“The money will go towards our build for our upcoming season of The Nutcracker,” she said.

“To have the extra funds to go towards costumes means better quality fabrics, more multiples of costumes and extra labour in the workroom.

“This in turn means it can keep coming out on stage for years to come with little work for the wardrobe team to repair and refurbish the costumes.”

Ebsary said it was important for WA Ballet to take part in events like the Garage Sale Trail to keep people interested in the arts and especially in what happens behind the scenes.

“The amount of work that goes into producing a new show is immense and to have people see this effort up close is important,” she said.