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Kateri Bilay

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of POINTE SHOES

Pointe shoes have evolved art and culture, particularly that of ballet, by enhancing and
lengthening a dancers lines and giving an ethereal quality to their
movements which has captivated audience members since their
creation in the early 1800’s.
Sylvie Guillem Evidentia
"Evidentia 1995: Sylvie Guillem." NVC Arts. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Feb 2014.
A Brief History
The Roots of Inspiration
The first pointe shoe was created in 1796 by Charles Didelot.
He was inspired by the delicate floating quality that female dancers exuded, but their male partners lacked.
He created his "flying machine" which allowed dancers to rise up onto the tips of their toes, with the use of wires hung from the ceiling.
His invention gave an illusory floating quality to the dancers movements
Ballet was born in the French Courts during the 1600's, and was origionally a court dance for Royalty
The French king Louis XIV was especially fond of ballet, and opened the first ballet school called the Academie Royale de Danse in Paris, France
The academy taught only men, and ballet was considered mainly a mans dance
It was in the mid 1700s when women came to the forefront of Ballet
Gaynor Minden, "History of Pointe Shoes and Technique" Louis XIV Sun King
Marie Taglioni
She was a famous dancer during the 1800s, and is credited as being the first dancer to rise en pointe
From 1827-1842 she danced professionally in St. Petersburg with the Imperial Ballet
She was inspired by Charles Didelot's "flying machine" and created a way to ruse up onto pointe without wires
By modifying her satin slippers with heavy darning she was able to rise up onto pointe

Gaynor Minden, "History of Pointe Shoes and Technique" Marie Taglioni
Evolution of the Pointe Shoe
Piernina Legnani
Legnani was famous Italian dancer
With the help of Italian shoe makers she made a shoe that not only had a darned tip, but also had a "box" which helped to support the dancers toes
Pointe shoes today still have boxes
"Reflections Inverse". Blogspot.com Piernina Legnani
Anna Pavlova
Pavlova was perhaps the most famous dancer of her time
She trained at the Vagonova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg Russia
Despite her fame she had weak feet
She modfied her pointe shoes by putting a hard piece of leather in the soles, which is now called the shank of the shoe
"A History of Dance"-Anna Pavlova, dancehistory.tumblr.com
The Modern Day Pointe Shoe
Barringer, Janice, and Sarah Schlesinger. The Pointe
Book: Shoes, Training, & Technique. Hightstown, New Jersey: Princeton Book Company, 2004. (accessed February 4, 2014).
Homans, Jennifer. Apollos Angels: a history of ballet.
New York: Randomhouse, 2010. (accessed February 4, 2014).
"Evidentia 1995: Sylvie Guillem." NVC Arts. N.p., n.d.
(accessed February 4, 2014).
Hoss, Gabriel. "Wood Burning Stoves - Orthoses -
Ballet Slippers - Buses ." How its Made Posted August 11 2013 502. . compact disc,
Gaynor Minden, Eliza. Gaynor Minden New York,
"History of Poine Shoes and Technique." Last modified 2009. Accessed February 4, 2014.
"Reflections Inverse". Blogspot.com Piernina Legnani
"A History of Dance"-Anna Pavlova
Green Choices, "Environmental Impacts." (Accessed
April 10,2014. )
Freed of London. "Freed Facts." Freed of London.
(accessed April 17, 2014).
The Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, "Russian Culture."
Accessed April 10, 2014.
Anatomy of a Pointe Shoe, google images
How its Made
Pointe shoes are made out of layers of glue hardened burlap, satin, leather, and cardstock
Each shoe has to be hand made using the Turnshoe Method,
The techniques used by shoe makers are handed down from generation to generation
Since each shoe is hand made, each shoe is unique but, makers follow the same guidelines for each specific make of shoe
This ensures both quality and constistency
"One manufacturer estimated that it takes 137 operations performed over three days by seven people to make one pair of pointe shoes."
The Pointe Book pg. 16

Pointe Shoe Components, istock.com
The Makers
Every dancer has unique feet, and so they each require different things from their pointe shoes
There are a variety of Pointe Shoemakers, and each maker focuses on a different type of foot
The maker Bloch for example makes shoes for dancers with wide feet

Museums. Art. Words. Pointe Shoe Brands
The Pointe Shoe Makers of Hackney. spitafieldslife.com
Dancers and Their Shoes
One pair of pointe shoes lasts a dancer an average of a week to a month before it is considered unusable or "dead"
Each dancer has unique feet and so each dancer must "break in" their shoes in their preferred way.
Some methods include:
-shutting them in doors
-banging them on the ground
-cutting or breaking the shanks
-putting water on them to break down the glue and soften them

How to Break in Pointe Shoes, dancer.com
Each pair of shoes costs and average of $70
Professional Companies provide their dancers with pointe shoe allowances to offset the cost of shoes
A large company will spend $400,000-$500,000 per year on pointe shoes

The athleticism of the dancer has evolved over the years due to the pointe shoe
Pointe shoes lengthen a dancers lines and wearing pointe shoes correctly requires great strength and skill
Pointe shoes have changed ballet as an artform and so they have also had an effect on the way society percieves art and culture

1800s to the 2000s
Sylvie Guillem, self portrait
Environmental Impact
-The average pointe shoe maker will finish 30-40 pairs of shoes a day.
-Freed of London, which is a specific brand of pointe shoe produces about 250,000 pairs of shoes a year.
-A single dancer can go through a pair of shoes in a week on average, thus it is necessary to have a continuous supply of shoes on the market.

-The satin used in making pointe shoes has an impact on the environment.
-When the satin is dyed the recognizable pink color of pointe shoes massive amounts of water is used
-Run off from the dyes can get into the rivers and water ways and cause pollution
nosignposts.blogspot.com. "No Sign Posts in the Sea: Sustainable Style." . (accessed May 1, 2014).
Architecture: Thinking Outside the Box
How do pointe shoes affect architecture?

Ballet is an artform just like painting, sculpting, or architectural design. The difference is that in other artforms there is always a medium or an instrument such as clay, canvas, or wood. In ballet the human body is both the medium and the instrument. Ballet is different from other forms of dance in the way that it relies almost completely on form, precision, and the development of certain muscle groups. When pointe shoes were introduced they changed the architecture of the human body. Pointe shoes align a dancer straight over her toes, so that her weight is centered on a two inch diameter platform. Alignment and posture changes when a dancer puts on her pointe shoes and so do the muscle groups. Thus the structure of the dancers architectural form is changed.
How to Ballet Dance. megpics.wordpress.com (accessed May 7, 2014).
Kateri Bilay
Culture and Politics
The arts are very important to society because they create a well rounded environment in which culture can thrive and flourish.
Ballet plays a large role in arts and culture. In Russia, ballet is the national art form. Russia greatly values their arts and culture. Many of the most famous Russian dancers and choreographers have a great political impact because of their status and influence on society.

Svetlana Zakharova
Svetlana Zakharova is the Bolshoi Ballet's prima ballerina and she is also a member of the Russian parliament

The Bolshoi is Russia's premiere ballet company
Svetlana Zakharova. Google Images
Gaynor Minden, "History of Pointe Shoes and Technique" Marie Taglioni
Piernina Legnani. Google Images
Full transcript