3 Pairs of Shoes Needed for 1 Onegin Performance?Exhibit in Bata Shoe Museum on-line archive
Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:12 AM
There are photos and an introductory video about these and other famous performers' ballet shoes that I saw in a temporary exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto a few years ago.
Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:25 PM
I was surprised she'd need 3pairs for "Onegin" though. I don't think of that ballet as being as demanding on the shoes as, say, "Sleeping Beauty." I remember reading that Cynthia Gregory used a new pair in each act of "Beauty," and that did not surprise me.
Long ago, the shoes were considered part of the costume, and changed as often as the dancers would change dresses or vests. The Lilac Fairy in "beauty" wore heeled shoes, changing into pointe shoes to dance her solo in the Prologue. Men would wear heeled shoes (Basil in Don Q, say) or boots, then change into slippers for the grand pas de deux.
Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:51 PM
I too am surprised that Onegin, with its less-demanding pointe work, would require a new-new pair of shoes for each act. I suspect that Tennant's three pair here were already old shoes, maybe had been through an act of Swan Lake or Giselle or maybe one of those war-horse pas de deux, before they danced Onegin.
Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:58 PM
It's quite possible that Tennant wanted shoes of different hardness and support in each act. Many dancers want a hard shoe for Act I in Giselle, which has hops on pointe and for the ghostly footwork of Act II, a shoe they'd consider (appropriately enough) nearly "dead."
Posted 11 July 2010 - 03:06 PM
Posted 14 July 2010 - 02:02 PM
These are interesting replies indeed -- thank you everyone. I never realized how many considerations ballet shoes involve.
Incidently, I have a relative who works at the Bata Shoe Museum http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/ (shameless plug!), and she gets many comments that it's strange for a museum to devote itself only to shoes! To me the museum's collection shows that the contact place between the human and the ground is uniquely significant in cultures all over the world, each one interpreting it differently.
Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:14 PM
Wow, those shoes are gorgeous. And the condition of them is almost unbelievable! How could they look so fine after 300 years?????
Regarding the 300-year-old shoes, my informant tells me that this iconic pair has reeived more attention and loving care from the conservators than just about anything else they have.
Posted 08 October 2010 - 10:59 AM
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