A glimpse in the costume atelier

A glimpse in the costume atelier

Dossier | Costume atelier

A dancer’s costume requires special attention. How the fabric moves, the flexibility of the cut and even how the material reacts to a sweaty, dancing body. In February 2020, a month before the world went into lockdown, NDT was in the middle of preparing for the full-evening program Sometimes, I Wonder, which presented a triptych of works by Jiří Kylián. In light of that performance, the head of the NDT costume department, Yolanda Klompstra, was interviewed for Nederland Bruist, in which she offers a rare glimpse into the world of the NDT costume department. Through this article, you will get an impression of the daily work at the costume atelier, where hard work is also being done on the upcoming NDT 2 performance The play between, which will premiere on 4 November!

The power of the perfect costume

Costumes play a pivotal role in a performance. “The dancers are challenged to dance at the highest level. We mustn’t hinder them in that, which means that the costumes have to fit perfectly around the body, so that they can move freely”, says Yolanda Klompstra, head of NDT’s Costume department. She and her team are responsible for all of NDT’s costumes. “At the same time, a costume must of course look good and do justice to the image that the choreographer and designer have in mind. That has always been and will remain a great challenge.”


The seamstresses of the NDT costume department have been making many beautiful costumes again for Sometimes, I Wonder, which comprises three works by Kylián: “Think corset jackets and a large pink silk skirt with layers for Bella Figura, stylish Victorian suits for Claude Pascal and delicately pleated two-tone dresses for Vanishing Twin. It allows for all of our creativity to play with colors and materials.”


until the very last moment

“As a costume maker you always stay busy. For example, sometimes a dancer has lost weight and we have to take in the waistband. That is why we always have our sewing machines ready, like in the Zuiderstrandtheater, just until before the premiere, to be able to make the final adjustments. It’s hard work, but a lot of fun. You really have to have a passion for this demanding profession, otherwise you won’t last. We are all super excited when we see the costumes on stage, so during the premiere we enjoy ourselves, not only because of the beautiful performances but because we get to see the costumes that we have worked so hard on!

Sometimes, I Wonder premiered on February 6, 2020 at the Zuiderstrandtheater in The Hague.

Chloé Albaret and César Faria Fernandes in 'Vanishing Twin'. Photo (2020): Joris-Jan Bos
The costumes in 'Claude Pascal'. Photo (2020): Joris-Jan Bos.