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Shepherd professor’s costumes shown in international exhibit

By Staff | Nov 30, 2012

Five costumes created by Dr. Richard Helldobler, professor of theater at Shepherd University, and designer Igor Roussanoff will be on display in an exhibit that features Russian ballet greats at UNC Asheville Feb. 12 to 26, 2013.

A special section of “The Enchanted Warriors, The Unknown Pages of the History of Ballet” is devoted to Roussanoff and his collaborations.

“When your work is exhibited along the likes of Rudolf Nureyev and Brianksy and Baryshnikov, it’s quite amazing,” Helldobler said.

Helldobler’s work with Roussanoff on many plays, musicals and ballets began in the late’90s when they both taught at California University of Pennsylvania.

Roussanoff is an internationally acclaimed artist who has worked as a costume and set designer, producer and art director around the world.

Helldobler said what he enjoyed most about working with Roussanoff was how collaborative he was.

“He has the ability to take what you’re thinking and put his twist on it. It makes you think about your work in different ways,” he said. “It was really just wonderful to work with him.”

Helldobler’s collaborative pieces in the exhibit are a bridal tutu from “Coppelia” and the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu and Cavalier’s tunic, as well as two costumes from the Arabian dance, in “The Nutcracker.”

The exhibit was first shown at the Bakhrushin Central State Theatre Museum in Moscow over the summer. It will house Helldobler and Roussanoff’s bridal tutu as part of its permanent collection at the exhibit’s conclusion.

Shepherd University and UNC Asheville are both members of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), which advances the aims of its member institutions and drives awareness of the value of high-quality, public liberal arts education in a student-centered, residential environment.