By Nicole Barley | Photography by Cayla Zahoran
Maria Caruso, artistic director, founder, and choreographer of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, is in constant motion. As an accomplished dancer who’s also deeply involved in the Pittsburgh community, from the arts to philanthropy, she is a vivacious and very confident whirl of energy. Her style matches her outgoing personality — it’s full of bright bold colors, body-conscious cuts, and wild shoes. She also has a very definitive attitude about her outfits. “My thing is, I wear a dress once, and that’s it,” she says of the diva-like gowns she dons after performances. Add to that a love of diamonds and all things Gucci, and you’ve got a leading lady on your hands.
My personal style is: “Elegantly artistic. I am open to all items that flatter my figure and accentuate my natural energy. Since I spend most of my time in the studio, wearing Lululemon, sweatshirts, and scarves, I am always excited about adding something special to my wardrobe collection. I believe in a very simple base, choosing classic pieces like a striking dark suit, black dress, or a great pair of True Religion jeans. I accessorize with sentimental accessories, as I treat myself once a year to a statement shoe (Jimmy Choo, Louboutin, etc.), a new handbag for my Gucci collection, or a diamond from my favorite Pittsburgh jeweler, Bucci. These are things that I am passionate about! This annual treat has been celebrated for many years following the successful premiere of a new ballet. Thus, each piece is a reminder of the wonderful moments spent on the stage and the dedication spent in making those moments spectacular.”
Favorite Designers: “Armani, Cavalli, and Gucci … I like the Italians, of course. But, I am always enthusiastic about new, young, and upcoming designers, and I would never say no to a piece because of a label or a price. There are true treasures everywhere — thrift stores, resale shops, sometimes even a great pair of tights at the ‘dollar store.’ I can always trust in Cache and Armani Exchange for staple items that fit my figure, and I love the many options that I can find at Nordstrom.”
Style Icons: “I believe that, much like a pointe shoe (a tool that becomes an extension of oneself in ballet), our personal style is simply an extension of who we are. Thus, my style icons are those that demonstrate a consistent representation of their spirit. So, I find that no matter how outrageous (a leopard print dress to a board meeting with stilettos) or classic I may go, there is always a confidence and elegance that stays true to my style.”
Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, 5824 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412.521.6094. bodiographycbc.com.