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Caroline Hamilton

Caroline Hamilton is a dance and costume historian specializing in early twentieth-century ballet and the evolution of dance costume.

Hamilton grew up in the theatrical family and initially trained and worked as a costume maker for ballet in Canada and the UK. Hamilton has gone on to work with many companies and designers on the reconstruction of early twentieth-century dance works including American Ballet Theatre and The Royal Danish Ballet.

In 2018 Hamilton undertook a fellowship at Jacob’s Pillow to catalogue the archive’s historic costume collection and was costume curator for the exhibition Dance We Must: Treasures from Jacob’s Pillow, 1906-1940. Hamilton has written extensively on ballet and costume including as a contributing writer for Anna Pavlova: Twentieth Century Ballerina (2012), Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story (2018), and Dance We Must: The Art and Costumes of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, 1906-1940, (2023). Since 2021, she has served as the first Costume Curator for the Jacob’s Pillow Archives.

Hamilton holds a PhD between the University of Brighton and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery completed in 2022. Her doctoral thesis examines the design and impact of Balanchine’s short-lived ballet company Les Ballets 1933 through the surviving costume and material culture.

Photo: Alexander Rudat

Essays by this Contributor

Fantasy Meets Reality: The Far East Tour, 1925-1926

The Jacob’s Pillow Costume Collection

When the Ballet Came to Jacob’s Pillow