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Ballet shoes, and other trivial stuff


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#46 carbro

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 08:52 PM

Interesting question.

With no electrical lighting, shiny fabric would have accentuated the feet on a dimly lit stage -- dim by today's (sometimes overlit) standards. That may have been the reason for employing satin in the first place.

Just a guess.

#47 canbelto

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 09:39 PM

I just rewatched Pharoah's Daughter, and Maria Alexandrova as Ramze wears brownish tights, with brownish pointe shoes.
Picture: Alexandrova

I must say that I find the look ugly. Then I saw the recent Maya Plisetskaya gala, and the Bolshoi "street dancers" in Don Quixote also have the brownish pointe shoes. I don't like this trend.

And I still prefer the shiny satin, especially if the dancer has beautiful feet. For instance, look at the satiny beauty here:
Sylvie Guillem

Or here:
Alla Sizova as Florine

On the other hand, no tights, with blue pointe shoes, is kinda ugly:

Lopatkina, in Blue Satin Shoes

#48 carbro

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 10:51 PM

I just rewatched Pharoah's Daughter, and Maria Alexandrova as Ramze wears brownish tights, with brownish pointe shoes.

When the Bolshoi brought Pharaoh's Dtr to New York last summer, I saw both Alexandrova and Zakharova in the role. They appeared not to be wearing tan tights but rather no tights whatsoever. I dislike it very much. I think the idea is to make the dancers appear more "natural," but there's little in ballet that's natural to begin with.

I agree, canbelto, that tan shoes aren't as pretty as pink ones. But tightlessness is even worse.

Just one gal's opinion. Well, two, actually. :wink:

#49 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 05:15 PM

Cojocaru has severe bunions, the reason for the very wide box on her shoes.

#50 LooseLegs2

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 05:29 PM

I think a lot of it has to do with the style of the piece. I dislike classical ballet with the nude colored shoes. Its just not my style. But anything contemporary, in my opinion, is much better with nude shoes. For example any of Alonzo King's choreography would just look funny with the delicacy of pinkish, shiny pointe shoes. It would soften the look too much. So for more contemporary, "fierce" pieces, i definitely prefer the no tights with nude shoes. But for the classics the classic look is a must. It just depends on what kind of a look the choreographer is going for.

#51 sz

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 10:13 AM

Cojocaru has severe bunions, the reason for the very wide box on her shoes.



Yes.... And Alina's foot size, length-wise, is also quite large for such a small dancer. I should have been clearer.... it's not just the width being large that can greatly excel a dancer with technique.

#52 Kate B

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 06:17 AM


Cojocaru has severe bunions, the reason for the very wide box on her shoes.



Yes.... And Alina's foot size, length-wise, is also quite large for such a small dancer. I should have been clearer.... it's not just the width being large that can greatly excel a dancer with technique.


It's a shame. Her shoes/feet can be quite distracting, and she is such a gorgeous dancer.

#53 fandango

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 07:39 PM

I recently saw Alina Cojacaru dance at the Royal Ballet and was not distracted at all by her shoes. I was just glad she is still dancing so well.

#54 sz

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 09:06 AM

I recently saw Alina Cojacaru dance at the Royal Ballet and was not distracted at all by her shoes. I was just glad she is still dancing so well.


I'll notice the feet/shoes at first, then very quickly care less as Alina's dancing is always so gorgeously in full bloom.

#55 drb

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 11:42 AM

Alina's Bloch Serenade's (D) are so severely worn, that the size is obliterated. But definitely shorter than size 5, just slightly longer than Ferri's size 3. One has a little slice in the side, as if for bunion relief?

Regarding Alexandrova in Pharaoh's Daughter, in (canbelto's) photo of her as Ramze, the character is made up to look as if she were a person of color (not the only possibly politically incorrect aspect of the production), while I think carbro's comment refers to her portrayal of Aspicia.


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