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Tutu Thief Dances Off With $16K in Costumes from Youth Ballet, Cops Say

By Leslie Albrecht | August 12, 2011 6:28am | Updated on August 12, 2011 8:55am

UPPER WEST SIDE — A tutu thief struck an Upper West Side ballet school, waltzing off with more than $16,000 in dance costumes, police said.

The costumes were recently reported stolen by the Manhattan Youth Ballet on West 60th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue, according to a police report.

Handmade and intricately embroidered, the dancewear was valued at $16,800. Four women's bronze and red dresses, four pairs of velvet dance trunks, four men's beige dance trunks and one man's gold and brown vest were pilfered, the dance company reported.

The costumes, on loan from the Parsons Dance Company, were worn by 17 and 18-year-old dancers who performed an excerpt of choreographer David Parsons' work "Wolfgang" at the Youth America Grand Prix dance competition at City Center in March, said a Manhattan Youth Ballet representative.

Dancers from Manhattan Youth Ballet received personal instruction from Parsons in preparation for the competition. They placed in the top 12 in the ensemble category at the finals of the Youth America Grand Prix.

After the competition, the costumes were stored on the main floor at Manhattan Youth Ballet in a closet that many people have access to, according to the police report. They were discovered missing in April, but the theft was first reported to police in August for "insurance purposes," according to the police report.

Parsons Dance Company declined to comment.

Students must audition for the Manhattan Youth Ballet, which trains about 100 budding dancers, some as young as eight years old. The school's dancers have gone on to perform with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet.