COLOURS OF BALLET: RED

Posted on 15 December 2020 By Rose Mulready

Fire gods and firebirds, furious queens, flirty girls and candy canes: we’ve made you a bouquet of warm glowing tones from the ballet stage.

The Queen of Hearts in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland© matches her wardrobe to her fiery temper. 

Valerie Tereshchenko. Photography Daniel Boud

Of all the fairies who bring their gifts to Aurora’s christening in The Sleeping Beauty, the Fairy of Temperament (often called Violente) has the most sizzling energy. In David McAllister’s Beauty, she has the extra charge of a deep wine-red tutu with corkscrew tendrils.

Dana Stephensen. Photography Daniel Boud

In John Neumeier's Nijinsky, the legendary dancer wins the heart of his future wife Romola while dancing the role of the seductive Faun. The fluid red-velvet dress that Romola wears in this pas de deux signals her erotic fixation. 

Jarryd Madden and Amy Harris. Photography Kate Longley

The wicked stepmother's jealousy in Natalie Weir's Mirror Mirror, a reimagining of the Snow White fable, flares up uncontrollably as she stalks the palace halls in her crimson dress. 

Steven Heathcote and Sarah Peace. Photography Jeff Busby

The show-stopping opening of Richard House's Scent of Love features this voluminous ruby-red dress, which becomes part of the choroegraphy of a pas de deux. 

Amanda McGuigan. Photography Jeff Busby

Kitri, the village belle of the Spanish-accented ballet Don Quixote, is hot-blooded, hot-tempered and saucy in layers of red ruffles. 

Lucinda Dunn. Photography Justin Smith

All hail Agni the Fire God, whose scarlet skin and earth-defying leaps proclaim his divinity in Stanton Welch's La Bayadère.  

Chengwu Guo. Photography Jeff Busby

In Graeme Murphy's Firebird, the supernatural creature combines flame with feather. 

Lana Jones. Photography Alex Makeyev

In John Cranko's Onegin, Tatiana is a picture of sophistication as she enters the ballroom in her elegant pale-red dress. No longer the naive provincial Onegin rejected years before, she finally wins his heart - but is it too late? 

Brett Simon and Amber Scott. Photography Lynette Wills

Carabosse in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty is a dangerously vengeful character, and red licks up her bodice and around her hem like a forest fire. 

Evie Ferris. Photography Jeff Busby

Mrs Stahlbaum, Clara's mother in Peter Wright's The Nutcracker, embodies the rich bounty of Edwardian Christmas in her luscious red velvet gown. 

Kismet Bourne. Photography Lynette Wills