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Noisy point shoes


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#16 Premabalrina

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 09:02 AM

Seems like its always male directors or just men in general complaining about noisy pointe shoes. The truth is, if a dancers shoes aren't noisy, chances are the shoes are dead. "Dead" shoes are unsupportive and can be dangerous to a certain extent causing a dancer to "roll-over" her shoes or possibly sprain her ankle. Another factor is what the dancers are using to harden and preserve their shoes. Most dancer in the US use something called Jet Glue to extend the life of their pointe shoes. Unfortunately, while doubling the life of the shoes, it makes the shoes very loud. Also, what kind of stage floor are the russian companies using? A lot of times a badly sprung floor will be noisy and slick.
It's easy to complain, but try stepping into our shoes for a day!

#17 carbro

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 11:43 AM

Seems like its always male directors or just men in general complaining about noisy pointe shoes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe among the pros this is so, but I don't think it holds for the audience.

Also, what kind of stage floor are the russian companies using?  A lot of times a badly sprung floor will be noisy and slick.  

No, Paul opened the thread describing the noisy Russian shoes on the stage of London's Royal Opera House, where (presumably) he is accustomed to seeing and hearing the RB and other companies. In New York, the Russians make more noise than other companies at the Met and NYST.

It is possible to make pointe shoes quieter without sacrificing support. See above. I may have neglected there to note the remarkable quietness of Gelsey's dancing.

#18 zerbinetta

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 01:10 PM

There are different kinds of noisy in pointe shoes: there's thud thud, clomp clomp & bam bam, all of which can be momentarily distracting.

But then, there's click click & ticky tik. Merrill Ashley in Ballo did ticky ticky ticky tick & it was wonderful, on the beat & I've missed it since she retired.

#19 ninjarina

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 05:25 PM

loud shoes can really take the magic away from a performance , russian shoes and suffolk pointe co. shoes are like cement and i really don't understand anyone wearing them at all.I can't explain why , but some stages can make you sound really loud even if your pointe shoes are relatively broken in .... happened to me once or twice

#20 bart

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 07:02 AM

Zerbinetta's characterization of the different kinds of noise made by pointe shoes made me think of the 1989 State Perm Ballet performance of Swan Lake with Nina Ananiashvili (Kultur video). This was definitely of the Thud Thud Clomp and Bam variety. Nothing like watching a group of willowy white swans and thinking of German troops goosestepping into Warsaw. Very bizarre -- and kind of sad. Is this really a Russian tradition, or a left-over of Soviet-era shoddy manufacture and poverty?

#21 jayo

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 09:32 AM

The hardness of many russian pointe shoes has nothing to do with shoddy manufacture - they are very well made and are popular in the US as well (Grishko and Russian Pointe brands for example). A harder shoe often lasts longer than a softer shoe (like a Freed), so economy does play a part. When I did a lot of dancing, I could wear out a pair of Freeds in a very short time - say a couple of classes plus a rehearsal. Less than a weeks worth of wear! A harder shoe could last me two to three weeks. When you're buying your own shoes at about $60 a pop, this is a big deal. :)

In addition, some dancers require a harder shoe for more support, or prefer the way they feel/perform.

I hate loud pointe shoes too though - nothing like skimming across the floor doing bourrees and thinking "wow, I sound like a stampede of rhinoceroses!". :ermm:

jayo

#22 Tiffany

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 05:40 PM

Different brands of pointe shoes are notoriously loud or quiet, after broken in. All pointe shoes are loud before they are broken in.
Quiet: capezio, freed, sansha, gaynor minden
Loud: grishko, russian pointe, other russian companies

Sansha even pads the pleats of their pointe shoes to make their shoes quieter.

Re: earlier comments-some Russian dancers are not taught to roll through their feet; grishko makes pointes shoes designed for this-vaganova & fouette models-which are designed for springing onto pointe.
Yes, most dance students are told to make their pointe shoes quiet, but there is only so much that you can do with a hard, heavy weight, etc. shoe.

If you have never held a pointe shoe in your hand, or perhaps never compared a grishko and freed, then it is difficult to understand why some pointe shoes are louder than others. Even a well broken in grishko is going to be loud.
The loud shoes also usually weigh more than their quiet counterparts, have harder & thicker boxes, have a harder shank (don't know if this plays a role in noise level), and break down less quickly than the quieter shoes.

Do I find loud pointe shoes annoying? yes. Will I change the brand of shoes that I wear (grishko) to have quieter shoes? No. Have other dancers changed shoe brands to have quieter shoes? Probably. However, dancing on pointe is difficult enough without factoring in noise level as a part of the shoe decision process.

#23 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 05:47 PM

I must say, if I haven't before, that I find the clatter of pointe shoes a charming part of the ambience of a live performance. I actually like it! :blink:

#24 bart

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 07:10 PM

Interesting posts. There seem to be a number of reasons -- economic, aesthetic, physiological -- for point shoe selection. How about company policy? In professional companies you are familiar with, what's the policy re (a) quanity of point shoes provided to dancers and frequency of replacing them, and (b) choice of manufacturer or style?

#25 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 08:18 PM

It entirely depends upon the "boilerplate" general contract with the union. I have seen as few as four pair a month in modern contracts. The usual agreement is "you can have whatever kind you want". Individual artist contracts may allow more (many more) than the basic, but four/month seems the basic. Of course, the dancer is free to purchase shoes on his/her own. I understand that now, a dancer may enter into an agreement with a manufacturer for free or discounted pointe shoes in exchange for endorsement.

#26 Marga

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 08:01 AM

In professional companies you are familiar with, what's the policy re (a) quanity of point shoes provided to dancers and frequency of replacing them, and (b) choice of manufacturer or style?

The Estonian National Ballet supplies its dancers with (a) as many pairs of pointe shoes as each needs. The dancer has only to go to the office manager (a former dancer with the company) and ask for more shoes. (b) Grishko.

#27 lampwick

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 01:56 PM

I've never seen anything except custom Capezio, Freed Classic, or Gaynor Minden on professional dancers in NYCB and ABT. Gaynors seem to be getting very popular with ABT dancers. City Ballet mostly wears Freed.

I wear Grishko, and don't find them particularly loud once they are broken in. They squeek, but don't thud or click. I swear it has something to do with the way you work your foot.

#28 Mel Johnson

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 03:54 PM

It also depends a lot on where you're performing. For example, the New York State Theater is a rather "dead" stage. Just across the plaza, though, is the Metropolitan Opera House. It isn't as live as the old house, where you could actually hear Russian dancers talking to one another! It is pretty live, though and you can hear every "clop-clop".

#29 MissChristine

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 12:23 AM

The hardness of many russian pointe shoes has nothing to do with shoddy manufacture - they are very well made and are popular in the US as well (Grishko and Russian Pointe brands for example).  A harder shoe often lasts longer than a softer shoe (like a Freed), so economy does play a part.  When I did a lot of dancing, I could wear out a pair of Freeds in a very short time - say a couple of classes plus a rehearsal.  Less than a weeks worth of wear!  A harder shoe could last me two to three weeks.  When you're buying your own shoes at about $60 a pop, this is a big deal. :)

In addition, some dancers require a harder shoe for more support, or prefer the way they feel/perform. 

I hate loud pointe shoes too though - nothing like skimming across the floor doing bourrees and thinking "wow, I sound like a stampede of rhinoceroses!".  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:(
I couldn't have said it any better myself.

OT:
Does the squeeking sound made by some shoes get to anyone?
Sometimes I find this to be a tad more annoying than the louder noises made by pointe shoes.

#30 Hans

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 08:14 AM

I found that ABT's corps is quite noisy at the Kennedy Center, and that the Kirov is about average. I suspect that some of it has to do with dancing in an opera house--the entire building is designed to allow you to hear everything!

I remember hearing Beverly Sills talk about when the New York State Theater was designed and how Balanchine wanted as little noise as possible coming from the stage and the NYCO wanted as much as possible.


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