Wizard of Oz a labour of love Imagine stitching about 3000 handmade butterflies on to gossamer dresses in just five weeks. That is just one of the painstaking tasks completed to make the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s biggest production for the year, The Wizard of Oz, come to life. Hearing an audience member gasp when the “poppies” came on stage during opening night made all the hours worth it for the costume department. “It was such a fashion moment when they came on. When I heard that, I was like all the hard work was worth it to get that reaction,” costumier James Kelly said. The most labour intensive costume was that of Glinda, the Witch of the North, who was clothed in a wispy design covered in thousands of handmade butterflies. Three costumes were needed for each dancer performing the role so 3000 butterflies needed to be sewn on. Each butterfly was handprinted and had sequins glued on to it before the butterflies were sewn on to the costumes, an effort that made the dresses possible, Kelly said.