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Farrell Fan

Autographed pointe shoes

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Both NYCB and ABT sell signed shoes at their gift counters. Perhaps because they were worn by what their marketing department calls "the world's greatest dancers," the ABT shoes are way more expensive than those at NYCB. I don't have any of those, but at NYCB decades ago I bought a pair of Suzanne Farrell's pointe shoes which I've worshipped ever since. They're on a little wall-shelf under a plastic dome, a miniature altar. In more recent years, I bought Rachel Rutherford's and Ashley Bouder's. I keep both on a bookshelf in front of books.

Does anyone else have signed shoes? How did you acquire them and how do you take care of them?

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We have some.

Anna Antonicheva, one shoe, given to my daughter by her ballet teacher after the first time Antonicheva danced with the school's company. Antonicheva danced Giselle, my daughter the peasant variation. Another student was given the other shoe.

Chan Han Goh, signed, but brand new. My children's school had a silent auction where they were a donated item up for bids. They came with a poster. No one else was interested in them.

Martine Lamy signed shoes for my daughter many years ago when daughter was just starting her ballet life.

Karen Kain, one shoe, unsigned, which we got at a National Ballet open house. I discovered it among other shoes in a bin of $2 donated-by-dancer shoes that were used as a fundraiser. I know it is her shoe by the size, shape of the shoe after being danced in and the way the elastic and ribbons are attached. It was used in a performance of Kain's swansong, "The Actress", the name of the ballet written on the sole. One of these days I might have her sign it.

Daughter has a pair of her own shoes signed several years ago by Evelyn Hart and Rex Harrington.

Since daughter has often been in the same open class with the above NBoC dancers, she is not "celebrity-struck". She would never ask a dancer with whom she shares a barre to autograph shoes for her, deeming it unprofessional. When she embarked on her ballet career, she gave me the bag of shoes which had been in her closet, knowing I would appreciate having them. It's nice that she got the shoes, with more than a little thrust from her autograph-collecting mother, when she was younger and just starting out. They are wonderful keepsakes.

I also have a pair of well-danced-in shoes signed by a dancer from the Milwaukee Ballet from over decade ago. One shoe has "The Nutcracker" written on it, the other has the dancer's name, which I can't make out. The shoes were part of a deal I bid on for the programs in the auction.

I think we have more that I can't remember offhand .....

The shoes are kept in a bag in the closet pending the day I get a display case or cases for them to add to our ballet library.

Isn't it a curious thing to covet a dancer's smelly, worn pointe shoes? :yahoo: The more mangled, broken-in, sweaty, discoloured and battered, the better!

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i collect them, but only ones i get signed personally in front of me, i dont buy them from gift shops. i have stacey calvert wendy whalen and paloma herrera, but they are autographed on my personal shoes, not on their own.

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Well, Farrell Fan, the image of a miniature altar under a plastic dome really gave me quite a chuckle -- and quite a big wide smile. Suzanne is very lucky to have such a devoted fan.

I've bought Kistler, Whelan and now Bouder. I like to think I'm quite selective. They are all hanging on the wall of my 5-year-old daughter's bedroom. I also like to think that some day, she'll appreciate my foresight and discriminating taste.

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I don't collect signed pointe shoes, but I did keep a costume jewel that popped off Maria Alexandrova's tutu while she danced the Le Corsair pas de deux. It lay in a dangerous spot, so when she took her bow, she picked it up and flicked it off the stage, almost into my lap (I was sitting very close to the stage - second row from the front, on the orchestra pit, as a matter of fact)!

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On my trip to NY last year to see NYCB I bought Ashley Bouder's signed shoes. On the bottom is written "Dances 1", could this be a reference to Dances At A Gathering? Anyway, I just love them. I like to take them out occasionally and just handle them, even try them on my feet. Next trip to NY I'm hoping to get Carla Korbes shoes.

Would love to have Farrell's, Tallchief's or LeClerqc's. I would actually start to hyperventilate if I saw those. :yahoo:

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When I was an intern at ABT in 1991, I was given a pair of Alessandra Ferri's autographed pointe shoes which I cherish to this day. They are so tiny.

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I gave a pair of Makarova's pointe shoes to my most talented student a couple of years ago as a gesture to smooth over something that upset her (a lot! ...and validly so...) during our school performances. She quit ballet last fall at age 16! Needless to say, this has made me really, really sad. I'm not sure if she ever truly appreciated the gift, both of the shoes and of her talent. I wish I had given the shoes to YOU, MakarovaFan! :rolleyes:

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What size are Ferri's shoes?

There are a lot of autographed pointe shoes being sold on ebay right now, from a wide variety of companies. I looked at a few and among them were Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Atlanta Ballet, & Milwaukee Ballet.

Edited by Tiffany

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My daughter has started a collection of signed point shoes.

The first pair was signed to my daughter by Paloma Herrera and were given to her because she had been one of the children in the ABT Nutcracker. The chaperone backstage had mentioned to the children that Ms. Herrera's birthday was coming up and that they could get a good surprise if they wrote a really nice card to her. My daughter and her friend each wrote nice cards and each got an autographed pair of pointe shoes. And Ms. Herrera got a bunch of nice cards and other gifts from all the kids (and a few over-zealous parents).

The second pair was a pair of my daughter's own shoes that she asked Julie Kent to sign after a performance. She and a friend met Ms. Kent at the backstage door and she very graciously talked with them and signed their shoes. They were thrilled.

The third pair was a pair autographed by Renata Pavam of ABT, that my daughter bought last summer in NYC after seeing an ABT performance.

I, personally, have a huge collection of dead point shoes signed by my daughter, who is still a student.

Maybe I'll be able to sell them to collectors someday and recoup some of the costs of my daughter's training??? :wink:

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Wendy Whelan left a pair of her white :blink: pointe shoes in a dressing room for two days. My friend snatched them up and gave them to me as a gift for good luck before a performance. They're Freed "u" maker. I always touch them for good luck before a performance or audition.

But I haven't had very good luck yet. :P

Maybe I should ask her to autograph them...

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For anyone looking to buy more shoes, the NYCB AIDS Walk team is selling some for fundraising. See the thread here:

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=19279

As for myself, I have only ever purchased on pair of shoes-- Ashley Bouder's. I bought hers during her first or second season in the corps. They are stored away. I never bought anything like that before. I felt compelled to buy them since I knew she was "going places". hey, and now they're worth 5X as much! :-)

-amanda

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I have one pair of autographed pointe shoes, which I bought years ago after a performance of Phantom of the Opera. They were being sold to benefit AIDS research or something like that, and had been signed by all the ballet dancers in the cast, so I'm not sure whose shoes they were exactly. All I know is that whoever danced in them has exactly the same size feet as me. :blink:

Isn't it a curious thing to covet a dancer's smelly, worn pointe shoes?  The more mangled, broken-in, sweaty, discoloured and battered, the better!

Well, we could be drinking champagne out of them, or cooking and eating them, or whatever else balletomanes did with the shoes of Romantic ballerinas... :(

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Over the years, I have bought many autographed pairs for my dancing daughters, mostly at the NYCB gift shop. The first time I took them to see Nutcracker there, we got a pair of Dana Hanson's shoes, dyed gold for Marzipan! For only $5, they are a marvelous lasting souvenir. Each kid got one shoe from the pair. (Hey, a Shirley Temple at Tavern on the Green cost as much!)

Yes, I have noted that NYCB's shoes are much less expensive than ABT's. I did spring for a pair of Julie Kent's from an Onegin performance --- but I figure these purchases are ALL for a worthy cause.

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I have not purchased autographed shoes but I do have signed shoes that were given to me by Merle Park, Cynthia Gregory, Cynthia Harvey and Paul Sutherland (who was a friend of mine).

I also have an interesting pair of pointe shoes that are not autographed - decades ago I was shopping for pointe shoes at Freed's here in NYC and when I brought them home I looked at the bottom and one of them had "LANDER" written in pen on it. This was about 1969 -

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I used to collect them. I have (and these will be misspelled) Samantha Allen, M Ciccone, Jenny Blascine (she has a really bad signature, so I'm afraid that might be horribly wrong), Lauren Toole, Dena Abergal, Monique Meunier, Jenifer Ringer, Alexandra Ansanelli, and Maria Kowrowski. I got all of them from the dancers themselves while supering except for Maria Kowrowski, my aunt got those for me at a preschool auction (really random place). I wish I still had the opportunity to get them. :)

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I was given a pair of autographed shoes by my uncle and a family friend (who lives with my uncle) for Christmas this past year.

My grandmother had gone to a ballet in Grand Rapids, MI with my uncle and the family friend and had met Maria Kowroski. Maria is actually the family friend's niece. In complete innocence, I had told my grandmother that she should've gotten an autograph for me. I had danced through much of my childhood, but gave it up, and I was naturally a fan of Maria, especially since I had heard so much about her.

To my surprise, my uncle and his friend took me aside this Christmas and gave me a pair of ballet shoes autographed by Maria. One shoe says "Dear Kelsey, With lots of love, Maria Kowroski" and the other says "With love, Maria Kowroski". What makes them even more special is that they are from her private collection of shoes (she has kept them all since she started dancing). They are truly one of a kind. Although I haven't met Maria officially yet, she seems like a wonderful person. :-)

Anyway, just thought I'd share because it's a pretty unique story and I'm pretty proud of them!

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Thatssomint, that is a WONDERFUL story. yes, I'd be touched, too.

i have a single shoe given to me by Kyra Nichols when I was in new York in 1992. She'd danced the Sugar Plum Fairy; I loved her in htat role, she was so sweet to the little angels. She also danced immaculately, but I loved hte way her graciousness never diminished no matter how "busy" she got with her footwork. I know her from her visits home to Berkeley, where I live and study ballet with her mother, the great teacher Sally Streets, and when I went backstage, she asked if I wanted a shoe and signed one for me.

i've got it in my study bookcase next to Bernard Taper's biography of Balanchine.

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I was given a pair of autographed shoes by my uncle and a family friend (who lives with my uncle) for Christmas this past year.

My grandmother had gone to a ballet in Grand Rapids, MI with my uncle and the family friend and had met Maria Kowroski. Maria is actually the family friend's niece. In complete innocence, I had told my grandmother that she should've gotten an autograph for me. I had danced through much of my childhood, but gave it up, and I was naturally a fan of Maria, especially since I had heard so much about her.

To my surprise, my uncle and his friend took me aside this Christmas and gave me a pair of ballet shoes autographed by Maria. One shoe says "Dear Kelsey, With lots of love, Maria Kowroski" and the other says "With love, Maria Kowroski". What makes them even more special is that they are from her private collection of shoes (she has kept them all since she started dancing). They are truly one of a kind. Although I haven't met Maria officially yet, she seems like a wonderful person. :-)

Anyway, just thought I'd share because it's a pretty unique story and I'm pretty proud of them!

Welcome thatssomint to BalletTalk! :speechless-smiley-003: That's a wonderful story!

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i've got it in my study bookcase next to Bernard Taper's biography of Balanchine.
A marvellous location, Paul. :speechless-smiley-003:

Thatssomint, welcome to Ballet Talk. I hope you'll introduce yourself on the Welcome page and continue to be a part of our discussions.

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San Francisco Ballet also sells signed (and I think used) pointe shoes.

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Many companies do -- they're a built-in fundraiser. When they're no longer usable, why throw these expensive things away if fans are willing to give money for them?

I also have an interesting pair of pointe shoes that are not autographed - decades ago I was shopping for pointe shoes at Freed's here in NYC and when I brought them home I looked at the bottom and one of them had "LANDER" written in pen on it. This was about 1969 -
A dancing friend's pointe shoes (Freed's) were made by Antoinette Sibley's shoemaker using Sibley's last. :thumbsup:

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I believe the ABT sells signed pointes at all their MetOpera performances to raise money for a benefit program for students.

Owning a pair which helps out new dancers and is an hommage to a favorite ballerina is a neat thing. We have a pair of Julie Kent's in our own hommage to ballet.. Memorabilia is for memories...

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Let your little girl pick out a pair at intermission and the only question is whether she'll be wearing them during the next act, put them on on the way home, or wait till home and then still have them on the next morning. Whatever, the joy's worth the money, as long as she doesn't catch foot cooties from the dancer. Usually there'll be a couple of men's shoes, just in case you've got a budding Misha, or more likely meant to find their way under some lady's pillow? Sort of the grown-up Princess's pea.

The money often goes to things like a dancer's emergency fund, though certain large opera houses may well get half or so of it, which might explain some price differentials.

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I believe the ABT sells signed pointes at all their MetOpera performances to raise money for a benefit program for students.

They sell them at City Center too.

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