Following Gustave Doré

The crucial stage of preparations for the new Don Quixote show at the Yacobson Ballet Theatre is under way. One of the most important parts was the recent costume fitting, overseen by Jérôme Kaplan, the world star of set design.

Before enrolling at l'Ecole de la Rue Blanche, a renowned school of theatre art and technique, Jérôme Kaplan was planning to make a living as a painter or illustrator. Perhaps that was the reason the future set designer developed a habit of intricately drawing the most minute details of his costume sketches. The costumes for the upcoming show reveal the core of its main creative concept, based on the finest traditions of etching. As he was working on his sketches and scenery layouts, Jérôme Kaplan drew inspiration from the etched prints by Gustave Doré, the author of the most recognisable illustrations for Miguel de Cervantes' books. But etchings are monochrome, so Kaplan, being a brilliant colorist, opted for basing his creative concept on sepia, with subtle additions of colour.

During the fitting, set designer Jérôme Kaplan had his first official meeting with the new Don Quixote's director, Johan Kobborg, who previously had only come across him once in Paris. This helped the two artists achieve a mutual understanding. Of course, so far, Kaplan's costumes are still roughly sewn drafts, only basically resembling the future splendour, which is hinted at in the stunning scrapbooks with the samples of gilded embroidery and woven trimming. But it is already more than obvious that the famous designer's ideas will be embodied with unrivalled brilliance to the last detail: after all, the final versions of the costumes are being sewn at the Vozrozhdenie theatrical workshops, which have more than thirty years of experience in dressing up the characters of headline-making shows not only in Russia, but also in Italy, Germany, Japan, and the USA.