Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Noisy point shoes


  • Please log in to reply
77 replies to this topic

#61 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,275 posts

Posted 23 June 2008 - 09:49 PM

...the Cubans in Coppellia, (who seemed VERY loud, though NOT Lorna Feijoo, she was quiet -

Because she is divine... :)

#62 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:25 AM

Paul--as far as current Vaganova technique goes, as far as I know the dancers are taught both ways of getting to/from pointe--both rolling and springing, as in this day and age one really needs to be able to do both. Your description of the Balanchine style sounds correct to me, but I did not actually dance en pointe, of course.

#63 Sacto1654

Sacto1654

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 24 June 2008 - 08:40 AM

You know, given the fragility of pointe shoes and the fact some of them have tips as hard as dried cement, you really wonder why somebody didn't ask the likes of Nike or Reebok to use their extensive knowledge of athletic shoes in general to create a very durable, quiet-landing pointe shoe.

It would be quite a bioengineering challenge, but the final result could revolutionize ballet almost overnight. (Mind you, I'm not sure if the likes of Diana Vishneva wants to be associated with a Nike "Just Do It" commercial.... :) )

#64 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,953 posts

Posted 08 July 2008 - 06:57 PM

I note there have been over seven thousand views of this topic, a subject that people obvously feel strongly about. :)

#65 JMcN

JMcN

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 375 posts

Posted 09 July 2008 - 02:52 AM

I've just seen BRB performing in Giselle. I must say that the pointe shoes were almost silent throughout. Victoia Marr, especially, looked and sounded as though she was floating while dancing the role of Myrtha.

I notice when pointe shoes are nearly silent or are particularly noisy. As pointed out by others, the Russian companies seem very noisy to me.

Some stages do not help - for example the stage at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth is, apparently, built over a steel frame and has some VERY noisy spots where the girders are even for the quietest of dancers in whatever shoes the role requires.

#66 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 09 July 2008 - 03:05 PM

JMcN -- thank you!

Steel girders might be the explanation at Zellerbach HAll in Berkeley, too --

And Ms Feijoo has 3 things going for her, to help her dance silently: 1) she's a principal, so she gets the best shoes; 2 she dances mostly solo, so she can KIND OF dance her own trajectories, going where hte light is good and hte noise is not bad, and 3) she IS divine.

#67 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,953 posts

Posted 09 July 2008 - 06:01 PM

JMcN -- thank you!

Steel girders might be the explanation at Zellerbach HAll in Berkeley, too --

And Ms Feijoo has 3 things going for her, to help her dance silently: 1) she's a principal, so she gets the best shoes; 2 she dances mostly solo, so she can KIND OF dance her own trajectories, going where hte light is good and hte noise is not bad, and 3) she IS divine.



Steel girders - interesting thought.

Zellerbach is the worst. The corps de ballet always sounds like John Wayne's cattle herd in Red River.

#68 Sacto1654

Sacto1654

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 10 July 2008 - 05:18 PM

Zellerbach is the worst. The corps de ballet always sounds like John Wayne's cattle herd in Red River.


I've actually walked the stage at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and even wearing a thickly-padded pair of New Balance "755" running shoes whenever I start hopping up and down or stomp on the stage floor you can really hear it. I'm surprised they haven't padded the stage floor whenever a ballet performance occurs.

#69 Clara 76

Clara 76

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:00 AM

Wow! I haven't been over here in awhile! This topic certainly caught my interest!! :)

A few things:
1. Professional ballet dancers may choose virtually any pointe shoe, for the most part. Many ADs won't care what you have on your feet as long as they are quiet!!!! To that end, point no. 2-

2. It is in many contracts here in the US that a dancer is responsible for keeping her shoes quiet for performances. And-

3. There is no such thing as a manufacturer's contract with an American ballet company where all dancer must wear their brand; that is one of those urban ballet myths.

4. Having said that, teachers sometimes are my worst enemy because they want "all their students in __". Usually it's because that's what they wore. That doesn't work because feet are as different as snowflakes!

5. Different brands of pointes are constructed using different methods. Some are quiet- some not. Freeds are notoriously quiet because they are made form natural flour-based paste. The newer-engineered glue shoes tend to be louder, HOWEVER, if a dancer is taking care of her shoes properly, she can both make them last longer and make her performance pairs quiet.

6. Technique has suffered in more recent years in favor of tricks over artistry. To that end, dancers haven't learned the subleties of foot articulation- they are too busy trying to use their knees as earrings, and trying to break the sound barrier by spinning. :dry:

7. Can the brand of shoes that a dancer chooses change her feet? Absolutely. That is why choosing a shoe that will conform to the dancer's feet is important; you don't want a shoe where the dancer's feet have to conform to the shoe.

8. There are space-age materials currently in use in several styles, and one brand of pointe shoes. They have their niche, but as stated above, the feet need to already be shaped like the shoe, or else, the dancer is in for a world of hurt. On top of that, these shoes typically lose a bit aesthetically. They are however, very quiet.

In my opinion, Russian-made shoes are much, much harder than other brands. That combined with the different technique focus, can make a Russian corps louder. But I'm willing to overlook the noise in favor of the symmetry. :)

#70 Nanarina

Nanarina

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 565 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 09:35 AM

:) :bow:

I find the sound of Pointe Shoes, and Male Dancers landing heavily , spoils the illusion, it is totally un-acceptable. Although the stage can sometimes be to blame, it is mostly the fact the Dancers have not prepared their shoes properly. It is a learned art, and actually takes quite a lot of time. Whilst as already mentioned the Pointe shoes do vary, a well broken pair, not only improves the shape of the foot, it prevents the noise that is un-welcome. I am sure that in the past especially in The Royal Ballet, we never heard the noise that seems to prevail nowadays. Most of the Dancers used Freed shoes. The case of noisy Male Dancers, is due to the control in their landing skills.

More often these days, Ballet Mats are used on the stages, which could have an effect on foot noise, one way or the other.

I would like to add to the comments made earlier about the Bolshoi in Le Fille de Pharoah, and add some other DVD's to this, The Paris Opera Etoile's, shows a rehearsal of Swan Lake, where the Dancers sound like a herd of Ponies, and plus Aurelie Dupont's shoes in the Neum. Sylvia Pas de deux, with Manuel Legris, in the final Act, are also quite noisy, it would be interesting to know what make shoes she wears.


However on a recent visit to see La Dame aux Camellias with Agnes Letescu, and M.A. Gilot in Signes, I did not notice the sound of shoes, maybe it was because Signes has very loud recorded music, and we were in the first row by the Orchestra for L.D.A.C.



:dry: :foot: :) All the same, I hate Shoe Noise, it ruins the performance for me. And makes me cross to think with just a little more care and preparation it would be greatly reduced or simply not there. If the two Madame's De Val. & Rambert were still alive I doubt if the problem would exist in the UK.

#71 Sacto1654

Sacto1654

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:20 PM

I think what is happening within the past few years is the artistic split between supporters (pun not intended!) of traditional pointe shoes and supporters of the pointe shoe from Gaynor Minden, the first pointe shoe that uses the same research used to develop modern athletic shoes from the likes of New Balance, Reebok, etc.

I do think that because of the vastly improved comfort and durability and quieter landing impact the Gaynor Minden shoe, you will start seeing more and more pointe shoe manufacturers going for modern designs, regardless of what "purists" say about the artistic integrity of traditional shoes. Indeed, one thing that could really increase the acceptance of Gaynor Minden and its upcoming related competitors is medical insurance requirements worldwide, given the numerous foot injuries of professional ballet dancers using traditional pointe shoes.

By the way, remember what I said earlier about wondering why the likes of Nike, Adidas, etc. aren't in the pointe shoe business? Given how incredibly advanced the research athletic shoe companies have done in the past 30 years, it wouldn't take much for one of these to develop a well-padded and durable pointe shoe that can be custom-fitted for each dancer. Mind you, like I said earlier, would the likes of someone like Diana Vishneva want to be showcased in a Nike "Just Do It" commercial, though. :thumbsup:

#72 Clara 76

Clara 76

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:28 PM

Sorry sacto, but I think that boiling it down to a purists vs. supporters of the pointe shoe from Gaynor Minden is simplifying the issue. :thumbsup:

It is important for dancers to be wearing the proper pointe shoes for their feet, period. That means some dancers can wear Gaynors- many can't, just as some dancers can wear Russian shoes, some Capezio, etc. :)

There are many factors to take into consideration when fitting pointe shoes, among them the shape, width, depth of the feet; the arch and instep height; the length of the toes; the ankle articulation; strength; rotation and ability to maintain it; how much the foot shrinks when pointed; whether their are any congenital factors to consider; spaces between toes; it goes on and on.

There are also some downfalls with the 'new' shoes; weakening ankles, bunions, and an inability to sense the floor are some problems that are currently faced, however obviously not by every dancer who wears them. That is why they are currently a niche-market shoe.

But aside from that, traditional pointe shoes do not have to be loud. It really is a matter of technique and preperation that will solve the noisiness problem. :wink:

#73 Sacto1654

Sacto1654

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 09:22 PM

Clara 76,

I can understand your issues, but the Gaynor Minden pointe shoe is only the first step (quite literally!) in finally addressing the issue of dancer foot comfort and landing quietness.

That's why the likes of a Nike, Adidas, etc. with their extensive experience in athletic shoe technology should look at developing a highly-advanced pointe shoe as a "showcase" for its shoe technology, possibly with a lot of customization to address the issue of proper shoe fitment for each individual dancer. Such a shoe will not only address the issue of noisy pointe shoe landings (which is the subject of this message thread! :thumbsup: ), but also help extend the careers of ballet dancers from not suffering so many foot injuries.

By the way, I think one ballet that really accentuates the problem of noisy pointe shoes is Swan Lake, especially Act I Scene 2 with its numerous dancers all moving at once and in sync on stage.

#74 Clara 76

Clara 76

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 08:30 AM

Well, when dancers are fit properly in the correct shoes for them, they are much less likely to develop injuries that can be caused by pointe shoes (space-age or traditional), and will likely not experience the "pain" that people speak about.

I know some professional dancers whose feet you would not think belong to dancers. I guess what I'm trying to say is that not all dancers experience pain and discomfort and injuries caused by pointe shoes.

And because of the fact that traditional paste shoes can be made as quiet as space-age technology, plus they have the added benefit of the dancer being able to sense the floor, I think that both types of shoes will continue have a place in the market.

#75 Nanarina

Nanarina

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 565 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 03:17 PM

I think I am correct in saying I remember at least with Freeds, Gamba and Porcelli, Dancers going to have their feet charted and measured, and a record and pattern made for their point shoes. :foot: When new shoes arrived they would all be named and numbered so the Shoe Mistress could ensure they were all stored in separate cubicles for each Dancer. In addition they had to be sprayed for protection against insects which cause damage. In their original state they would be made of pink satin, and would be dyed in the ROH workshop if a different colour was required to match a costume.

I still maintain it is up to the Dancer in question to ensure their shoes are correctly broken in, despite the make or type.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):