If you adore The Nutcracker in the wintertime, there’s a new show sure to fulfill your taste for the fantastical this summer: the American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream. The Alexei Ratmansky-choreographed ballet, which just premiered in New York City and runs through July, is a true feast for the eyes. The set and costumes created by pop-surrealist Mark Ryden are layered with color, sparkle, and whimsy fitting of the nutty tale it tells: A young boy overindulges at a Viennese pastry shop and falls into a delirious, sugar-fueled dream about being rescued from seeing a doctor by Princess Praline, Princess Tea Flower, Prince Coffee, Marzipan, and more fun characters.
ELLE.com went backstage to get a close-up look at just what it took to bring this new production to life. Here, with the help of associate costume designer Holly Hynes, see Whipped Cream broken down by the numbers:
1 Year: How far in advance costume and set creation starts
79,560: Number of Swarovski crystals used
There are 64,512 Swarovski crystals in the costumes and 15,048 in the set. They make everything sparkle–even things you might miss, like the cupcakes in the scenery. 17 colors of Swarovski crystals were applied.
20: Wigs used in the production
There are also 3 beards, 1 mustache, and 1 prosthetic nose. They were all hand-made in-house with ABT’s Hair & Makeup department. One wig, for the character Nicolo, has a braid that is 2 feet long.
150: Total number of costumes in ‘Whipped Cream’
163: Number of leaves on the Tea Flower costumes.
The hand-painted leaves include 34 on each bodice, 21 on each yoke, and 20 small, 30 medium, and 60 large leaves on the tutus.
Princess Tea Flower:
11: Number of costume shops ABT partnered with
5: Yards of each pink and white fabric used in the Swirl Girl costumes
6: Number of children’s roles
159: Number of “gumballs” on the Gumball Lady’s skirt
This show-stopper weighs about 50 pounds.
American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream is playing at the Metropolitan Opera House through July 1. Get tickets here.