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Good to know that making ballet shoes is one manufacturing sector in which a British company still leads


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While slimming through the New York Times today  I came across this very interesting article on ballet shoes by Michael Cooper: "At City Ballet, Footwear Is Almost as Important as Feet" 31 Dec 2013. I was delighted to learn that there is at least one sector of manufacturing in which the UK still leads. The article states that almost all New York City Ballet's shoes come from Freeds of London.

 

The article and comments discuss ways of reducing noise, increasing durability and. of course. managing stress and strain on dancers' feet through improvements in design and the use of new materials.

 

Finally, there are some lovely photos, not only of dancers en pointe but also choosing, manipulating and generally adjusting their footwear.

 

Although I read the New York Times primarily for business, technology and US political news that is relevant to my practice as a patent lawyer I also check the arts section because there is nearly always an interesting vignette on dance in general and ballet in particular. It is well worth subscribing to the NYT for the arts section alone.

 

The URL to the article is http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/30/at-city-ballet-footwear-is-almost-as-important-as-feet/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131231

 

This is almost certainly my last post for 2013 so happy New Year to all the other subscribers to BalletcoForum. :-)

Edited by terpsichore
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Thanks. I am still feeling my way round this site.

 

Before posting I did a keyword search on "ballet shoes" and "shoes" and could find no articles on the topic. I also looked through "doing dance" and couldn't find any relevant thread.  

 

I am glad that you and others spotted the NYT article independently.

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A number of related links that come to mind, recalled via searching on 'pointe shoes' in Daily Links.  There appear to be others.

 

Royal Ballet:  http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/dec/16/royal-ballet-shoe-department

 

Freeds:  http://spitalfieldslife.com/2013/07/16/the-pointe-shoe-makers-of-hackney/

 

Repetto: http://www.dawn.com/news/1029727/stitch-and-return-making-ballet-shoes-with-repetto

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Welcome to the forum, Terpischore, and remember we were all new here once and all had to feel our way around the site, so don't worry too much about not spotting things immediately -  it takes time!  In the case of our invaluable daily links,  very little little gets missed but I do know the links team are always grateful if you bring something to their attention which appears to have been overlooked.

 

I too would love to see the Sibley/Crisp event (have you read her book? It's wonderfully informative).  I may see if there's cancellation list.

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Have just emailed them about this will let you know what they say,

 

I realise this is the wrong thread for this discussion (Ivy House Event with Sibley) but the other recent thread was locked so should this now go back to the original thread started by Josephine!

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LinMM, I've just pulled Sibley's book from the bookshelf and discovered that it's not in fact written by herself but by Barbara Newman - it's more or less a biography.  It's called 'Antoinette Sibley - Reflections of a Ballerina' (ISBN 0-09-164000-8).  It's a fascinating read and there are some lovely photographs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gamba was Britain's oldest maker F.Freed was an employee of Gamba before starting his business. I think it got into financial difficulties and a couple of people a  former dancer Gavin something  and some businessman  saved it and it was sold on to the French company Repetto something like that.

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