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The Blueberry Tutu

Open Innovation Fall 2018 | Projects

  • Melina:

    The Blueberry Tutu: A tutu with a blueberry branch design coiling from its center, bringing together a modern dancer's youthful passion for ballet and her strong roots in her home on a Vermont blueberry farm. The spiral frame attaches to a connected inner elastic belt, and when Louisa raises her arms, the spiral extends upwards.

    In a society where people often feel the need to conform, a striking individual like Louisa Marie Mann stands out. Born and raised on a Vermont blueberry farm, Louisa is an expressive, goal-driven, forward-thinking, and insightful dancer for Heidi Latsky Dance. To this day, the blueberry branch is a symbol to Louisa of her strength, grounding her in her identity, so much so that she has one tattooed on her upper arm. Brought up as a professional ballet dancer from a very young age, Louisa fell in love with the art and techniques of ballet, and dreamed to one day play the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. However, as Louisa explored other physical creative outlets, she realized that modern dancing was a much better fit for her innovative, though ballet-inspired, ideas. Now, Louisa shares herself confidently with the world as a part of Heidi Latsky’s On Display performances, challenging assumptions of what dance is “supposed to” look like and advocating for making dance accessible to all ranges of ability.

    The Blueberry Tutu aims to showcase Louisa’s strong and loving roots at her home in the Vermont blueberry farm that shaped her, while demonstrating how her childhood passions developed over time into a unique expression of her personality. The costume is built from a white, contemporary-style ballet tutu frame, with rope attached to each round of the spiral. When Louisa raises her arms, the spiral extrudes upwards. White elastic grips the waist, while additional white elastic attached from the waist band to the inner hoop allows for great support, and a great range of motion. Pairing classical and modern, as well as natural and urban styles, The Blueberry Tutu captures Louisa's spectacular journey in a striking fashion.

    Jakob:

    A wearable designed for a dancer Louisa, to bring together her love for her Vermont home and her love of ballet by using blueberry plant patterns to create a three-dimensional, adaptive tutu.

    Blueberry Tutu is designed for Louisa, a dancer who grew up in Vermont on a blueberry farm. Throughout her childhood, she wished to become The Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. This wearable brings together these two aspects of her personality by using a blueberry plant pattern to create a tutu. A spiral cut pattern adds three-dimensionality by allowing the tutu to move up and down, changing shape based on the movements of her body. The original design was fixes elasticity to the west which allowed for some motion, but not enough. It also incorporated natural sticks which are fragile and hard to transport. The new design utilizes a spiral that looks like a blueberry plant wrapping around her. The spiral is attached to her arms at three locations allowing her to control the geometry of the tutu with her arms.