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Ballet shoes, and other trivial stuff


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#16 bart

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 07:35 PM

At a recent Western Symphony I was surprised to notice how distracted I was by the appearance of black shoes with black tights

I understand the costume demands (barroom girls) in play here. But the effect on line -- and the virtual obliteration of the impression of "feet" at all -- was quite astonishing.

Is this combination of black/black used elsewhere?

Also, no one has mentioned the coppery/brown pointe shoes used by many dark-skinned dancers, African American and Latino. They often contribute to a lovely line. I was curious about these, and checked a few web sites. "European" seems to be a color widelyl available. But "African American" or "chocolate" or whatever did not exist on the sites I checked. (Discount Dance and Capezio.)

#17 carbro

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 08:19 PM

I don't mind black tights with black shoes. Preferable, in any case, to black tights and pink shoes. What I do mind is the failure to blacken the sole. The light tan sole against the black shoe is very distracting, IMO.

Another distraction in the leg/foot area is Dance Theater of Harlem's use of four or five shades along the light tan-medium brown continuum, to closely match tights and shoes to the skin tone of the wearer. While it's very obvious that African American skin has a much wider color range than Caucasian, don't most ballets with a real corps rely on a certain uniformity? I wish DTH would pick its shade and let everyone wear it.

#18 canbelto

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 09:29 PM

One question: in old old footage of ballet (like the Ulanova/Plisetskaya era) the tights always look completely translucent, with only a hint of pale pink. But basically you can see the skin tone very clearly. When did it become fashionable for the tights to be more opaque?

#19 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:39 AM

bart i've seen footage of DTH where the girls are shown painting or spraying their shoes so i assumed that is what they do?

Also, no one has mentioned the coppery/brown pointe shoes used by many dark-skinned dancers, African American and Latino.  They often contribute to a lovely line.  I was curious about these, and checked a few web sites.  "European" seems to be a color widelyl available.  But "African American" or "chocolate" or whatever did not exist on the sites I checked.  (Discount Dance and Capezio.)

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#20 perky

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 06:29 AM

I like shiny satin peachy pink pointe shoes, and pale pink tights. What I dislike seeing on stage are the one piece body suits where the tights end at the ankle and the shoes go on over bare feet. I find it incredibly distracting and unattractive. :D

#21 Hans

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:57 PM

Perky, I agree--that is hideous.

#22 carbro

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 09:30 PM

Me three.

. . . in old old footage of ballet (like the Ulanova/Plisetskaya era) the tights always look completely translucent, with only a hint of pale pink.  . . . When did it become fashionable for the tights to be more opaque?

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When nylon tights became cheaper than silk ones? In her autobiography, Fonteyn wrote of repairing her old silk tights, long after others would have thought them unmendable, since it had become nearly impossible to get new ones. She wrote that when she could no longer dance in silk tights, she was going to retire. Enter Rudolf . . .

#23 dnznqueen

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 05:55 AM

I believe that Margot Fonteyn wore Freeds...I don't know what maker though

#24 carbro

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 11:34 AM

She probably went through several makers, given the longevity of her career! I don't suppose the last one is still at it, though!

#25 dido

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 04:07 AM

Here's a photo of a pair of Margot Fonteyn's shoes. They date from the 60's I believe. They are indeed Freeds, as you can see; you might even be able to determine the maker. Size four.

Fonteyn's Shoes

eta: I remember reading somewhere (but not where) an interview with a DTH dancer who discusses custom dying all of her tights, ribbons and shoes! I can't imagine the work involved!

#26 carbro

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 12:14 PM

What I do mind is the failure to blacken the sole.  The light tan sole against the black shoe is very distracting, IMO.

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Check out Teresa Reichlen here: http://www.nycballet...grams/frc2.html.
Good going, Tess! :)

#27 dirac

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 05:22 PM

I've read somewhere -- perhaps the Daneman biography but I am not sure-- that Fonteyn wore Freeds.

#28 canbelto

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 12:35 PM

Here's a good picture of a dancer going either tightless or with nude tights (I think she's tightless), and there's been some attempt to wear nude skin-color shoes and ribbons. But I don't understand why Chloe would go tight-less. She's not "exotic" at all.

ETA: wow, shoes have certainly gotten boxier over the years.

#29 JaneD

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Posted 26 March 2006 - 10:50 AM

Canbelto

No, people have stopped doctoring photographs to make dancers look more etherial!

Jane

#30 Alymer

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Posted 26 March 2006 - 02:36 PM

Here's a good picture of a dancer going either tightless or with nude tights (I think she's tightless), and there's been some attempt to wear nude skin-color shoes and ribbons. But I don't understand why Chloe would go tight-less. She's not "exotic" at all.

ETA: wow, shoes have certainly gotten boxier over the years.



None of the women in the current Royal Ballet revival of Daphnis and Chloe wear tights (with the exception of the Nymphs). I imagine this is the choice of the designer (John Craxton) as the last time this was done with the old Craxton decors (he revised them slightly for this revival) they did wear tights. It may be that he wants them bare legged is because they are village girls.
The dancer shown is, of course, Alina Cojocaru who notoriously wears Gaynor Minden shoes and I have to say I don't find her feet at lovely as the rest of her!


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