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graemew

Who Pays for Pointe Shoes?

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We did a wardrobe tour some years ago when BRB were performing Sleeping Beauty in Plymouth.

 

Although the production was at least 20 years old at the time most of the costumes were from the original performances.  It was a real trip down memory lane seeing who had worn the costumes!

 

My late friend was passionate about the long defunct London City Ballet.  She was shocked to find out that dancers were often cast or missed out on roles depending on whether there were existing costumes to fit them.

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It goes further than that Janet, often at an audition the company is looking for dancers who will fit in with the other dancers and this includes being able to wear the "vacant" costumes.

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7 hours ago, zxDaveM said:

 

recycled - if you ever go on one of the tours and pass through the costume dept, and they are doing something that's on regularly (Nutcracker or Fille or Sleeping Beauty or whatever), you might catch a glimpse of the name tags on the costumes -sometimes they go back ages! They also have rows of hooks/eyes so that more than one dancer in the corps, could wear a particular costume (e.g. a ghost in Bayadere). Of course, when they come out of storage they get repaired/replaced if too far gone, and assessed for the dancers cast in the roles, and replaced if someone cast can't find a fit. A new ballet though, or a restaged one (such as the recent Swan Lake) then they make new costumes for every dancer cast. Hundreds of them! After the run, they then go into storage, ready for a revival.

 

At least, that's what I've gleaned over time...

 

As a student Dd often got to wear costumes from BRB wardrobe. Every time the excitement of seeing the sewn in name labels of professional dancers who had worn the costume was real. 

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We attended an Insight costume evening where you could get "hands on" to the costumes. Costumes for major roles (at least), have a label inside listing the names of everyone who have worn them. And all costumes are made with generous hems and hooks and eyes for flexibility, as has been noted already. 

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Fascinating, thank you all for your replies. I had no idea! Imagine wearing Margot Fonteyn's costume and knowing that her name was sewn into the label, somewhee above yours! I can't imagine what a thrill that must give present- day dancers, to be literally embodying the history of their company, and its traditions, in your clothes! But I imagine it also must get a bit stressful, to know, for instance, that one's waist is 5 inches bigger than whoever else wore the costume before!!11!

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I seem to recall that Tamara Rojo danced her Onegin performances in the red dress once worn by Marcia Haydee - can anyone confirm?

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On 02/11/2018 at 22:35, SMballet said:

Fascinating, thank you all for your replies. I had no idea! Imagine wearing Margot Fonteyn's costume and knowing that her name was sewn into the label, somewhee above yours! I can't imagine what a thrill that must give present- day dancers, to be literally embodying the history of their company, and its traditions, in your clothes! But I imagine it also must get a bit stressful, to know, for instance, that one's waist is 5 inches bigger than whoever else wore the costume before!!11!

 

Perhaps it is reset to "Max" before the new dancer tries it on! Actually, I would imagine that today's dancers are slimmer than their predecessors. I am sure they must be fitter.

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On 30/10/2018 at 18:14, Nicola H said:

GM pointes   use  a lot of plastics in their construction   hence their   apparently ' pre -broken in '  state and  reported longer  dancing  life than the  paste / hessian / cardboard/ hardboard  of a traditionally  constructed pointe shoe   (  and having  de shanked   my first  (badly fitted)  pair  i've  had a good nosy at  that   kind of construction 

 

Well, they call it a "flexible polymer" but yeah it's plastic. It's a type of plastic that can always keep its shape, regardless of how many times it's bent in a different direction. That's why it lasts so much longer. The other reason it lasts longer is because it doesn't need the extensive tweaking that traditional shoes do. There's no banging on the walls, no wetting and stepping on the box, no bending the shank until it's broken. 

 

Most dancers who wear GM only sew their ribbons and elastic and go on to dance like that. I know some ROH dancers on GM also do darning but I think only Osipova does further tweaking to the shoes because she opens up the vamp. 

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Welcome to the forum, snowweisz, and thank you for that useful information!

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1 hour ago, snowweisz said:

 

Well, they call it a "flexible polymer" but yeah it's plastic. It's a type of plastic that can always keep its shape, regardless of how many times it's bent in a different direction. That's why it lasts so much longer. The other reason it lasts longer is because it doesn't need the extensive tweaking that traditional shoes do. There's no banging on the walls, no wetting and stepping on the box, no bending the shank until it's broken. 

 

Most dancers who wear GM only sew their ribbons and elastic and go on to dance like that. I know some ROH dancers on GM also do darning but I think only Osipova does further tweaking to the shoes because she opens up the vamp. 

 

Fascinating, thank you for sharing!

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39 minutes ago, alison said:

Welcome to the forum, snowweisz, and thank you for that useful information!

 

Aaw thank you!

I've been registered for ages but I don't read often and have never commented cause everyone here is so knowledgeable, I mostly come here to learn :)

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On 28/10/2018 at 03:07, Jan McNulty said:

I've just had a look at the Pointe Shoe Appeal page and I couldn't see that it says the money goes into the general fund.

 

As I understand the situation (but please correct me if I a wrong) if a charity raises money for a specific cause then that is what it has to be used for and the charity's accounts should reflect how that specific money has been spent.

 

For my job, I have researched and gone through the financial reports of many charities and non-profits... and the information given is incredibly vague.

 

They really can do anything with little to no oversight, with zero accountability— if they so choose.

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50 minutes ago, Stumbellina said:

 

For my job, I have researched and gone through the financial reports of many charities and non-profits... and the information given is incredibly vague.

 

They really can do anything with little to no oversight, with zero accountability— if they so choose.

 

Well charities are of course accountable to the Charity Commission, at least to an extent. But I think it's true that the information in an organisation's published accounts can be so general and presented in such a way that it's not possible to see details that one might want to see.

 

The ROH must know how much it raises with the Pointe Shoe Appeal each year, and as part of their income it then offsets their expenditure which includes pointe shoes. Whether they tie up those two figures anywhere I don't know.

 

 

 

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