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Ballet shoes, and other trivial stuff


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#1 canbelto

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 05:53 PM

I don't know whether I'm weird or not, but I really dislike it when ballerinas get flesh-colored ballet shoes that seem to meld perfectly with their flesh-colored tights so you can't see the line between the ribbons and the feet. I like ballet shoes that are slightly colored (a light pink, or off-white), so you can see the shoe clearly. Don't know why, but it's just my preference.
To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I offer this picture of Lucia Lacarra:
"Nude" ballet shoes

Compared with:Diana Vishneva

I don't mind the melding of the ribbons and tights when ballerinas are wearing white tights, as in Swan Lake. But the "nude" shoes make it look like the ballerina is dancing barefoot, and I really don't like it.

Does anyone else have little quirks like this?

#2 carbro

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 08:16 PM

I'm not sure Lacarra is wearing "nude" shoes -- the supporting foot looks a normal shade of pink to me. Maybe the working foot caught the light funny?

But I know what you mean -- the way some dancers apply pancake to their shoes to dull the satiny shine. I think that they think it lengthens the leg by not differentiating the foot. I like the shiny shoe even on short-legged dancers, because the shine flatters the foot.

I prefer shoes that are the same shade as the tights, and I realize that sometimes shoes are contrasting color for special effects. In those cases, I really think the elastics and ribbons should match the tights.

I also don't like tan skate boots. They don't look as clean as white ones.

#3 canbelto

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 09:31 PM

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I like seeing the satin on the foot -- it looks so pretty and more feminine. I don't like when dancers dull the satin ribbons on their shoes. I think a good exampl
e of the pancaked ribbon is this:
Isabel Guerin

OTOH, I think this ribbon/tight combo is too mismatched.

I'm with you about tan skating boots. But what I really hate is when skaters pull their tights over their boots. It makes their feet look huge. I wonder why they do it. Is it more comfortable?

#4 carbro

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 11:06 PM

OTOH, I think this ribbon/tight combo is too mismatched.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Would be if there were tights. I think this is bare skin, canbelto. Going tightless seems to be a growing trend, and I don't like it.

#5 Gina Ness

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 11:21 PM

It's not always the dancer's choice. We were asked to pancake our shoes by artistic management...

#6 jayo

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 08:34 AM

When a corps de ballet wears different brands of shoes, the different satins (some pinker, some beiger, some more or less shiny) can be distracting. Pancaking can make for a wonderful uniform look to the shoes.

I happen to like the pancaked look - the feet should have plenty of 'wow' without the shine. It is always a little sad to take a new, beautiful, shiny pair of shoes and have to slather gunk on it though. :(

jayo

#7 canbelto

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:26 AM

Would be if there were tights. I think this is bare skin, canbelto. Going tightless seems to be a growing trend, and I don't like it.


The picture is of Altynai Asylmuratova -- you think going tight-less was "in" even back then?
But I can understand why dancers like to go tight-less. It probably causes less sweating, and I know a lot of dancers stuff their shoes with so many layers of "cushioning" that the tights don't even matter.
It's also strange how in La Bayadere, Nikya generally does not wear tights in the first act. She only wears tights when she becomes a Shade. Every Bayadere I've seen in the Makarova version (both live and on video) Nikya is tight-less.
Same for Medora. It's like when you're "exotic" you don't need to wear tights?

#8 Hans

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 10:44 AM

In that picture, Asylmuratova is dancing the first act of Le Corsaire, so she probably is not wearing tights--the whole "exotic" thing. It's not historically accurate, though; in the 19th century the dancers would have always been in tights.

#9 canbelto

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 11:48 AM

Speaking of tights/notights/shoes, does Coffee dance barefoot? From the audience it always does look like she's dancing barefoot, but in the video I have she's wearing really thin slippers. Is it a matter of dancer choice whether she wants to wear shoes during the Coffee dance?

I've noticed the NYCB girls *always* wear really white tights, except for some ballets, in which case they wear black tights. They never go tightless, or wear flesh-colored tights. Don't know why -- was it Mr. B's preference or something?
I don't like nude pantyhose, mostly because the skin tone of the hose never matches your actual skin tone so you look like your legs have an unnatural tan. So I don't mind when dancers don't wear flesh-colored tights.

#10 Hans

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:19 PM

I always thought NYCB's coffee dance was done in pointe shoes...?

#11 carbro

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:39 PM

Speaking of tights/notights/shoes, does Coffee dance barefoot?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm pretty sure Coffee does her variation with one foot bare, the other in a tan pointe shoe. Then for the finale, she's symmetrical, but I don't remember whether in pointe or soft shoes.

I've noticed the NYCB girls *always* wear really white tights, except for some ballets, in which case they wear black tights.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, canbelto, this is not true. They almost always wear pink tights. A quick stop at the gift bar displays various dancers' pointe shoes -- overwhelmingly in soft pink, with occasional white pairs, and more rarely black or another color. And they are the same shade as the tights. I think the ladies in Sym in 3 Mvts and Diamonds wear white tights, and at times in Sym in C (although I also remember a period when all wore pink in that except Darci, heading 2nd Mvt -- very strange looking).

#12 canbelto

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:48 PM

Actually, canbelto, this is not true. They almost always wear pink tights. A quick stop at the gift bar displays various dancers' pointe shoes -- overwhelmingly in soft pink, with occasional white pairs, and more rarely black or another color.


I admit from the audience, it's hard to tell the difference between pink tights and white tights. I've picked up some NYCB shoes, and they are usually soft pink. But so many dancers (especially at the ABT) wear soft pink shoes with white tights. It gets so confusing.
Another thing about tights -- I am glad that most of the tights today don't have seams. I always thought the seamed tights ruined the pure straight line of a ballerina's best assets -- her legs.

#13 dnznqueen

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 11:54 PM

Another thing about tights -- I am glad that most of the tights today don't have seams. I always thought the seamed tights ruined the pure straight line of a ballerina's best assets -- her legs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


tell that to mr. b...some of his dancers wore seamed tights inside out because he (therefore they) thought it exaggerated the line of the leg. i actually had a teacher (balanchine training), who would make us wear our tights that way.

p.s.- sorry if i didn't do the quote thing correctly

#14 Hans

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 06:28 PM

I'm surprised there would be any occasion for female dancers to wear white tights in a classical ballet. There are some pink tights that are extremely pale and almost look white, as well as shoes that color (certain Grishko shoes, for example). Is that what you're referring to?

#15 canbelto

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 07:05 PM

I'm surprised there would be any occasion for female dancers to wear white tights in a classical ballet. There are some pink tights that are extremely pale and almost look white, as well as shoes that color (certain Grishko shoes, for example). Is that what you're referring to?


Yeah, I'm talking about the Swan Lake/Bayadere tights. You know, very pale, look almost white, match with the pale pink shoes ... It's hard to differentiate between pink and white because of the lighting ...

ETA: does anyone know what kind of shoes Margot Fonteyn wore? Because they look different from most ballet shoes. For one the box of her shoes seem tiny, much shorter than most boxes. It seems like she had really tiny, thin feet.


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