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Clara 76

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Everything posted by Clara 76

  1. Just stumbled across this thread! Since I am a shoe mistress, I'd be happy to answer any questions people may have regarding pointe shoes. I can give you general figures though: Female dancers go through approximately 1 pair per week by alternating pairs and Jet Gluing, and one pair per performance unless it is a ballet such as Sleeping Beauty where the principals will indeed go through 1 pair per act! The reason for the increase in usage on stage has more to do with the hot lights and the adrenaline than anything else. If a shoe manager is doing their job correctly, then a dancer should not have to do a whole lot to a pair prior to wearing. Most dancers wear custom made shoes, so the shoe manager can make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep his or her dancer's feet healthy!
  2. Yes! You are correct, Nanarina! Freed bespoke pointe shoes, and any other company that does custom pointe shoes, are indeed created to each dancer's specifications. It depends upon the shoe mistress, but if she or he is also a fitting specialist, then the dancer needn't go to Freed or Gamba or Capezio, but simply sets up an appointment with their shoe person who will help them find what they need. If the shoe mistress/master isn't a fitting specialist, then a dancer would need to go to the source to have their shoes made. From there the shoes are all hand made by the maker chosen by the dancer, and delivered to the shoe mistress who does exactly as you described. Each pair are checked against the dancer's spec chart to ensure that no glaring mistakes were made in the creation process, then the shoes are taken care of and placed into each individual dancer's cubicle/drawer/shelf. Once they are in the dancer's hands, it is up to the dancer to take the proper steps to both preserve and prepare them for stage. :foot:
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 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.
  5. 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. 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.
  6. I'm so happy to have found this thread... Tatiana was my ballet teacher in the 70s, and she is a wonderful lady. I am blessed to this day to have had her teach me the art of ballet through her eyes. She taught every class with the idea of performing in mind, so that you were given the technique that was required, but also an understanding to really dance every class. She is responsible for the artist in me. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of her dancing, but somewhere, I have a head shot of her from when she lead the company that was the precursor to BalletMet. I hope you enjoy her as much as I did.
  7. DefJef- I love your enthusiasm!! A question for you- do you have to 'think' about walking? Do you decide which foot you're going to lead off with, or whether you're going to take a step with your heel or your toes? Probably not, because walking has become what we call 'muscle-memory'...it just happens. When a dancer practices the choreography enough, it becomes muscle-memory to the dancer, who is then free to feel the movements, and allow their feelings to be expressed.
  8. I think it's a symptom of the greater economy. There have been so many industrial and commercial companies closing, laying off their employees, "outsourcing" and "downsizing". The real estate market is expected to hit a wall, and people everywhere are losing their homes because they can no longer afford their mortgages. Many corporations have gone to "Independent Contractors" for normal everyday jobs that used to be considered fulltime with benefits. Needless to say, it is a shame.
  9. Yes, they certainly are the exception. The problem is, most of the jobs out there for your average dancer are with companies that do both, so dancers have little choice if they want to work, unless of course, they are exceptional at either classical or contemporary. Then they can gravitate towards one of the top companies in either genre.
  10. This thread may be of interest: Forsythe
  11. Something quite different on top of solid classical training is definitely required. Many dancers study other forms of dance alongside ballet, like jazz, modern, Ailey technique, or perhaps African. That seems to give them a certain versatility that enables them to do all these 'foreign' movements. That along with training directly from the choreographers who run these companies.
  12. The vocabulary may be the same, but it's execution- apples to oranges. Forsythe works off the center, continually pushing dancer's bodies to do what can't be done. Or at least, it feels that way to the dancer! The movements would not look like classical ballet i.e., pink tights, tutu, tiara, pointe shoes, lovely turns, jumps, extensions, and balances with a handsome prince on hand. In Forsythe pieces, as well as many other contemporary choreographer's works, bodies are all over the place- disjointed, and then not. Think Renoir vs. Dali.
  13. Thanks so much for all your help! I did it- booked the hotel and got the tickets tonight! When I tried earlier on the KC website, I couldn't find The Royal Ballet listed, but tonight, I figured it out! I am beyond excited, and I can't wait to see my mom's face when I surprise her with the tickets....this is a dream come true.
  14. Thank you. I see that is quite complete- what a wonderful resource!
  15. Where & how would I go about getting tickets to see them at Kennedy Center? Do I have to pay for that Membership in order to get tickets? I have no idea how I'd swing this financially but I'd love to surprise my mom with tickets.... We would be driving so anyone have any advice on where to stay that would be close enough to catch the Metro to the performance but not stupid-expensive? I am assuming that the Metro runs after the performance as well? The last time I was in Washington DC I spent the entire time inside a hotel ballroom at a conference, so I am not at all familiar with the city. Any advice would be welcomed.
  16. I was lucky enough to get to see Joseph dance (though not with Janessa) in Stars & Stripes in Columbus, and he is wonderful!!!!! Clean technique, strength, effortless movement, great jumps, gorgeous smile- totally deserving!!
  17. Hysterical!!!! I really respect that kind of creativity and humor
  18. Alessandra Ferri, from what I've seen, uses very long vamped shoes. So while the average vamp may be 3.5-4 inches, hers look to be maybe 5. A longer vamp will offer more support to those banana-footed people. Actually, sometimes a strong shank can have an opposite effect on a high arch, so it depends upon the personal preference. The highly arched foot can sometimes, actually be a weaker foot, though it doesn't appear weak. That is because of its superior flexibility. People with banana feet tend to have to work constantly on strength issues. It appears that Svetlana Zakharova wears Russian pointe shoes. They also appear to have longer vamps. I don't think that the shape of the foot matters as much as the individual's tolerance for pain. It is what it is, which is all your body weight concentrated onto the bones of your feet, and therefore, it is crucial that the proper training is already there in order to have strong muscles protecting the bones. As far as Fonteyn goes, I suppose we'll never know. Many non-dancers have arthritis, and they've never danced en pointe!!
  19. Most pointe shoes are still made the traditional way using layers of fabric and special pastes. If you were to cut open a pair of handmade traditional paste pointe shoes, much like Fonteyn's (which, by the way, were 'Z' makers size 4 zero X...really narrow!!), you would see all natural materials. The stiffened front part of the shoe (the box) supports the metatarsals and boxes do indeed come in many shapes. Most Russian pointe shoes are wide in the bunion joint area, and then taper down to the platform. Australian-made shoes are squarer. Many years ago, all pointe shoes were made tapered, so the person with a squarer foot was just out of luck! Today, almost the opposite has occurred, with tapered shoes being harder to find. There are so many options out there now though, with custom shoes, that it almost doesn't matter when you become pro because you can tweak your shoes in any way to suit you best. Most professional dancers wear custom made shoes, and the color of satins that all companies offer, despite it being custom, are not particularly varied. So when you see a ballerina with skin-toned shoes, she has either used her own pancake make-up, or someone has custom dyed them to suit her. Sansha has just come out with a darker colored satin they are calling 'Flesh' I believe, and they are the first pointe shoe company to offer a darker color in a stock shoe. I have dyed pointe shoes many times for dancers, and it is very time-consuming!! Not as time consuming as creating a pair of pointe shoes though. Most shoes are made by hand and created inside out. They start with the specs (specifications) the dancer requires like: Short pleats, 4.5 inch vamp, 1 3/4 inch sides and extra material at the heel, and go from there. Shanks, which are actually inside the shoe, provide for support in the arch and when up en pointe. Many professional dancers do not need much support in that way, so they will ask for either a 3/4 shank, or perhaps a phillip's insole, which is little more than a piece of cardboard! The 3/4 shank ends right at the top of the arch, which can provise a better line as well. Most stock shanks are made of leather. Gaynor Minden's are created differently. The boxing and inner shank is one full connected piece. It sort of looks like a black plastic ladle. That is why there is a difference when the dancer is attempting to roll through- the one-piece design sort of acts as a rebound. Just some fun facts I hope you all will enjoy!
  20. That a magazine about dance would choose to exclude any dance companies is beyond belief... Perhaps a name change to Politics Europe???
  21. I love the Ohio Theatre and have probably sat in almost every seat at one time or another!! My favorite place though was at the very top of the theatre, balcony house right, in the sound booth. I definitely needed binoculars there!!!! Take your "old binoculars"- you may find you won't need them, but at least you'll have them in case. Oh, and Lower Mezz is right behind Loge, if that helps.
  22. I agree- What point exactly was being made?? The main idea I got was that ballet is boring except for the skinny women. Tsk tsk. Perhaps I have no sense of humor??? Clara 76
  23. A Russian Revolution May 12 - 15, 2005 Mershon Auditorium Four dance works spanning the history and future of cutting-edge dance. In addition to BalletMet's world premiere of the daring Firebird by Stanton Welch, the bill features two ballets with a history of inspiring controversy: the radically visceral The Rite of Spring, choreographed by Doug Varone and performed by BalletMet and OSU dancers; and Nijinsky's sensual, once-scandalous L'Apres-midi d'un Faune (The Afternoon of a Faun), staged by OSU's John Giffin and performed by OSU dancers. All three works received their original premiere by Ballet Russes, the groundbreaking European dance company led by Sergei Diaghilev from 1909 to 1929. In keeping with Diaghilev's tradition of presenting new works by emerging talent, BalletMet will also premiere Heart Strings, a brand-new work by Columbus-based choreographer Maria Glimcher. FIREBIRD Wild wigs and prosthetic facial parts are the outward signs of inner evil in the dark, gray world of Stanton Welch's Firebird, where a sinister preacher has converted a village of people into his minions, including its children, who will be danced by BalletMet Academy students. First premiered by Ballet Russes in 1910, Firebird has traditionally told the story of a Prince who frees a Princess from a wicked sorcerer with the help of a mystical Firebird creature who is part bird, part woman. Mr. Welch's version, however, which is set to Stravinsky's 20-minute-long suite of the original score, focuses on the Firebird and her battle to rescue the townspeople's souls from evil's harm. It also features costumes created by designer Holly Hynes, New York City Ballet's Director of Costumes, and constructed by BalletMet's Costume Shop. BalletMet Artistic Associate Stanton Welch, who is also Artistic Director of Houston Ballet, has been described by The New York Times as "one of the hottest talents in ballet." Known for his diverse style, Mr. Welch has been commissioned by companies such as the Royal Danish Ballet, England's Birmingham Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, and San Francisco Ballet. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Mr. Welch trained at San Francisco Ballet School after beginning his dance studies in 1986 at the relatively late age of 17. In 1989 he joined the Australian Ballet, where he was lead soloist and resident choreographer for a total of 14 years. THE RITE OF SPRING The chilling tale from Doug Varone's The Rite of Spring that he created for New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2003 remains the same; however, the ape-like humans and loincloths have been replaced by clean-cut denizens of 1950s suburban America outfitted in pastel costumes specially made by the BalletMet Costume Shop. Inspired by the short story The Lottery, the ballet chronicles a civilized group of acquaintances ritualistically selecting one of their own to be the victim of human sacrifice. Its intense emotion is in keeping with The Rite of Spring's legacy; its 1913 original premiere by Vaslav Nijinsky in Paris incited a near-riot in the theater, though whether it was in response to Stravinsky's violent-sounding score, the story of pagan sacrifice, Nijinsky's bizarre choreography, or the provocations of an anti-Stravinsky element in the audience is not certain. Choreographer Doug Varone, who created his The Rite of Spring for New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2003, danced as a principal with the Limón Dance Company and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company before founding Doug Varone and Dancers in 1986. He has received commissions from such companies as Pennsylvania Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Toronto Dancemakers, Batsheva Dance Company, the Limón Dance Company, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Colorado Ballet, and choreographed and staged works for the Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera and Washington Opera. Among the awards he has received are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography and several choreography fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. L'APRES-MIDI D'UN FAUNE Created for Ballet Russes in 1912, Vaslav Nijinsky's first choreographic effort caused almost as much uproar at its premiere as his The Rite of Spring would the following year. Besides L'Apres-midi d'un Faune's shocking story-of a mythological half-man, half-goat creature who fantasizes about encounters with wood nymphs-the modern ballet introduced a revolutionary style of choreography in which bare-footed dancers appear in profile as if inhabiting a flat, two-dimensional plane. Due probably to the outrage that its performances drew, L'Apres-midi d'un Faune (The Afternoon of a Faun) disappeared from stage after only a few years; in the 1980s, dance notation specialist Ann Hutchinson Guest reconstructed the choreography using Nijinsky's original notebooks. Staging L'Apres-midi d'un Faune will be OSU Dance Professor John Giffin, who teaches ballet, composition, notation and repertory. Mr. Giffin has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadians in Montreal and toured with the Heritage Dance Theater. In addition to co-producing An Evening with Igor, choreographic works set to music of Stravinsky, he created Last Songs for the 1991 Cleveland Performance Art Festival and was commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts to create The Fall River Follies. Mr. Giffin, who received a Master's of Arts from OSU and a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from the Juilliard School of Music, has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the OSU Office of Research, as well as choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. HEART STRINGS A contemporary work featuring women dancing en pointe, Maria Glimcher's Heart Strings is the story of a man and woman who decide whether to stay together in a relationship after examining three other couples in different stages of intimacy. One pair is in the thrilling throes of new love, while another runs hot and cold, and a third suffers a malaise borne of familiarity and neglect. Presented in five movements, Heart Strings features music by Ottmar Liebert and Astor Piazzolla and specially designed costumes by BalletMet Costume Shop. Maria Glimcher, who makes her BalletMet choreographic debut with Heart Strings, currently teaches modern at Otterbein College, and ballet, modern, and jazz at BalletMet Dance Academy, where she is also the Rehearsal Director of YouthMet, a teen ensemble that performs a multi-cultural repertoire. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Ms. Glimcher graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts. She danced with Syncopated Inc., Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico and Columbus Dance Theatre, and made a guest appearance with BalletMet. In addition to working with such choreographers as Dwight Rhoden, Donald McKayle, Donald Byrd and Ron Brown, Ms. Glimcher has choreographed for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, Miami Valley Dance Company, Otterbein College and YouthMet. May 12 - 15, 2005 Mershon Auditorium Tickets: $15, $25, $37, $47 Thursday, May 12, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 8 p.m. Sunday, May 15, 2 p.m.
  24. Better yet, take her to see some ballets if you can. Clara 76
  25. Another Choleric here! A bit disconcerting to be compared to Hitler But of course, I like the positive traits!!! Clara 76
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