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Hair & Makeup Tutorial

Swan Lake - Bringing the von Rothbarts to Life

June 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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Hair & Makeup Tutorial

ABT dancers and hair and make-up artists will provide tutorials for some of the ballets’ most iconic looks..

Swan Lake - Bringing the von Rothbarts to Life!

In Swan Lake, the von Rothbart Lakeside and Ballroom designs are drastically different yet they are meant to be the same person, Lakeside the alter ego of Ballroom. Though the two do not resemble each other much, we do use similar techniques while doing their makeup. In theatrical makeup, using certain contouring techniques help achieve specific looks and characteristics. Contouring at sharp angles not only helps to define the face, it also enhances masculine features and helps create an evil look. Keeping the eyebrows, cheekbones and jawline very straight and angular (verses rounded) helps the audience to interpret this seriousness even from a distance.

Von Rothbart Lakeside looks much more complicated but we use these same concepts and then exaggerate them and use a different color palette, which then creates a less human and more monster look. Lakeside also has a prosthetic headpiece. This headpiece’s base sits on the dancers head like a hat; we then add a disposable baldcap on top of the base. The baldcap is painted and is glued to the dancers face and neck, keeping it on throughout the performance.

Fun Facts

Von Rothbart’s beard is usually fake! A fake beard is either glued on or we paint one on. The dancer can wear his own natural beard if possible.
Both characters take about 30-45 minutes to get ready.
We always paint Von Rothbarts hands and teeth to further his monster look!

Aran Bell as Ballroom and Thomas Forster as Lakeside.
Photo: Connor Holloway.