THE SLAVEGIRLS




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This costume is used by the ballet girls in the beginning of first act, and it's the only time we see Christine in identical costume to the corps de ballet. The bodice consists of 10-12 alternating red and green velvet panels, heavily decorated with gold over the seams and in collar and belt. The rope skirts are made from a soft rope which will not damage the girls' knees as they dance - the Aussie versions are said to use chenille, while the US versions use slashed velvet. The European versions use soft ropes. The skirt is attached to a belt made with a black base and with different golden details on top. In European versions Christine's belt is merely attached with snap buttons, so it can be removed when the big Elissa skirt is added in "Think of Me". In the US only the rows of beads are removable from the belt, so the actual rope skirt is sewn to the bodice and kept on under the dressing gown.

Though the different sketches might seem rather different over the bust, they are in fact quite similar. Some appears to have a more V shaped collar, others have a more suggestive breast shaped collar. But if you look closely at them, they're all intended to be rows of pearls going out from a red centre, continuing over the bust and to the shoulders and over the arms. The same can be seen in the costume sketch for the dressing gown, and for a Hannibal bodice with tutu overneath (an idea which was never used on stage). The tutu one is less suggestive than the one to the right overneath, but not as V shaped as the one to the left either. So I assume the costume is intended to be more or less the same with different cup size rather than having differently shaped collars.

Unlike how all stage costumes are made, I think the original idea of the belt is a tad different. I wonder if the designer intended rows of pearls to form the belt, and then let them end in this "waterfall" in front of the skirt - slightly reminding of how the rows of pearls used in the collar continues to the shoulders. I also think parts of the skirt decorations in the front are supposed to illude strips of fabrics with knots - look closely a the golden rows, and you'll see what I mean. As it is now, most costumes have golden appliqués as belt decorations, and separate rows of pearls in the front of the skirt, and with plain golden rows.


BEADED BRA VERSION
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CHESTPLATE VERSION
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V SHAPED COLLAR VERSION
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POSSIBLE INSPIRATION


A French fancy dress sketch from the early 20th century - "The sorcerer". Although she wears a full skirt, the stripes along with the arrangement of the "belt" reminds of the slavegirl costumes. Ditto for the "breasted" bodice and the upper arm rings. Her long scarf also reminds of the Bjørnson sketches.


Copyright: The Maria Bjørnson Archive, Really Useful Group and the respective photographers and cast members