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Brief History of Ballet Shoes (Part Two)


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An outline of ballet footwear from the Romantic Period through to Modern Dance

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Brief History of Ballet Shoes (Part Two)

  1. 1. A brief history of ballet shoes Part Two (The Romantic Period to Modern Ballet ) Cameron Kippen u
  2. 2. Romantic Movement The Romantic era marked the rise of the ballerina as a central part of ballet. Stories of folk & fairy tales prevailed and dancers needed to portray the super natural . This era saw the introduction of en-pointe dancing.
  3. 3. Charles Didelot (1767 – 1837) Toe dancing at the end of the 1700's. Dancers balanced on their toes in attitude for just moments, wearing soft ballet slippers. Charles Didelot advanced the art form by introducing with “flying machine” of rigged wires that carried dancers into the air and made them appear weightless. He became the first choreographer who brought a ballerina posing on the pointe in the ballet Flora and Zephyr (1815) Marie Taglioni as Flore
  4. 4. Marie Taglioni (1804 –1884) The most celebrated ballerinas of the romantic ballet and generally credited with being the first ballet dancer to go en point. Taglioni was also known for shortening her skirt in the performance La Sylphide, which was considered highly scandalous at the time.
  5. 5. Early Ballet Slippers Marie Tagolioni’s dance technique mirrored the bare foot and she wore well fitting soft satin slippers with leather sole. Her ballet shoes had to be darned on the sides for strength but the tip was left free, for pointe work. .
  6. 6. Ballet Stance Hip rotation and foot position were originally to show off the court shoes
  7. 7. Cult of the ballerina In Russia a pair of Maria Taglioni’s pointe shoes were sold for two hundred rubles, and reportedly cooked, and served with a sauce to a group of balletomanes.
  8. 8. Carlo Blasis (1797 – 1878) The Italian dancer, choreographer and dance theoretician published The technical manual Trait Elementaire et Pratique de la Danse, in 1820. His manual included drawings of dancers in nothing but shorts and ballet shoes. He insisted his students learn theories and was influential in Enrico Cecchetti creating the Cecchetti method of ballet.
  9. 9. August Bournonville The Danish choreographer is best noted for his “Bournonville slipper” worn by male dancers. Bournonville slippers were black with a white, V-shaped vamp in the front. This helped give the impression of a long and pointed foot. August Bournonville (1805 – 1879)
  10. 10. Notable ballerinas of the Romantic period Carlotta Grisi (1819 – 1899) Lucile Alexia Grahn (1819 - 1907) Francesca "Fanny" Cerrito (1817 – 1909)
  11. 11. Emma Livry Emma Livry (1842 –1863) was one of the last ballerinas of the Romantic ballet era and a protégée of Marie Taglioni. She died tragically from complications after burn injuries sustained when her costume caught fire during a rehearsal.
  12. 12. Ballet Russes The Russian Monarch established the St. Petersburg school in 1738. Later Russia, Opera Houses came under the direct control of the Tsar and productions were paid from the Imperial purse. During this time dancers became part of the Imperial household. Empress Anna of Russia (1693 - 1740)
  13. 13. Marius Petipa (1855-1881) He developed and defined romantic ballet and created the core repertoire of the Russian ballet. His best-known works were The Sleeping Beauty (1890) and Swan Lake both set to commissioned scores by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. Marius Petipa
  14. 14. Russian Ballet Inspired by the French Russian Ballet developed Lavish performances French Ballet meantime became more lude.
  15. 15. Stronger shoes Ballet shoemakers started to make harder shoes for pointe work. Harder shanks were introduced with reinforced toe boxes to make the platform bigger. Marius Petipa made good use of the new shoes in his complex 'pouncing‘ routines.
  16. 16. Michel Fokine (1880 – 1942) The first choreographer of the Ballet Russes. He developed a technique that used the dancer's entire body at all times while expressing the story. He made it look like dancers were in bare feet by having toes painted on the dancers' shoes.
  17. 17. Enrico Cecchetti (1850 - 1928) He had an illustrious career as a dancer in Europe before joining the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Considered the greatest ballet virtuoso of his time he taught Anna Pavlova, Léonide Massine, and Vaslav Nijinsky. In the Cecchetti Method dancers follow strict routines and daily exercises. .
  18. 18. The Russian Revolution Prior to the Revolution, Russian Ballet reflected the Tsar’s superiority and presentations symbolized grandeur. After the Revolution People's Commissar for Enlightenment, allowed ballet as long as it was light and uplifting. Anatoly Lunacharsky establishment of the Bolshoi Drama Theatre in 1919
  19. 19. Pierina Legnani (1863 –1930) Italian schools pushed technique to the limit and when Pierina Legnani performed a Bravura it caused a sensation. The secret of the Italian success was their stable shoes. Italian ballerinas danced in harder, stronger footwear which gave support.
  20. 20. Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) Pavlova strengthened her pointe shoe by adding a piece of hard wood on the soles for support and curving the box of the shoe. This became the precursor of the modern pointe shoe, as pointe work became less painful and easier for curved feet. Her photographs were altered to appear as if she was using a normal pointe shoe.
  21. 21. En Pointe Pointe work allowed performers freedom to move and achieve greater grace. Pointe shoes evolved with a flat toe box as a platform. This base helped develop calf and leg muscles during strenuous routines and allowed the entire weight of the body to be precariously balanced on the rigid points of one or both feet. New maneuvers like pirouettes, arabesques were now possible.
  22. 22. The Tutu Ballet connoisseurs wanted to see the new technical feats and fancy footwork . The new long, floppy, 16 layer tutus reached to the knee and allowed the female dancers much greater mobility in such technically demanding ballets as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Paquita.
  23. 23. Belle Epoque Burlesque performance became more mainstream Belle Époque dancers like La Goulue and Jane Avril danced the Can can and modeled for Toulou Lautrec's iconic poster art. Classic ballet was less popular and skirts were shorter with more leg exposed. The Female dancers wore pointe shoes.
  24. 24. Ballet leotards Modern dancers started to wear leotards in the fashion of trapeze artist Jules Leotard. Others adapted the popular one piece bathing suit, made famous by the Australian long-distance swimmer Annette Kellerman Jules Leotard (1838 – 1870) Dancers wore the long sleeve version of ballet leotard with a scoop neckline. Annette Kellerman (1886 – 1975).
  25. 25. Ballet Renaissance The revolutionary music of composers like Stravinsky began to influence of modern dancers like Isadora Duncan (1877 - 1927) and others. After the Ballets Russes was dissolved in 1929 many dancers immigrated to the United States. A ballet renaissance grew in both Europe and America.
  26. 26. Isadora Duncan Isadora Duncan danced barefoot and wore a flimsy Greek tunic. Her dance attire became the practical and acceptable style of dancewear worn for rehearsal.
  27. 27. George Balanchine (1904 – 1983) Russian influenced George Balanchine became the father of American ballet. He created plot less ballets where the motivation was movement in response to the music. George Balanchine (1904 – 1983) Dancers performed in rehearsal costumes and had a stereotypical slim line body.
  28. 28. Walpurgresnacht Ballet The irony of constrained footwear is seen in this ballet. In the 1st and 3rd act ballerinas dance in high heeled shoes with their feet floored to the ground. In the 2nd section, the dancers wear classical pointe shoes and their movements express an impassioned freedom. The pink satin pointe slippers are a metaphor for elusive sexual love.
  29. 29. English Ballet English Ballet was a combination of dance and pantomime but after 1735 greater attention was paid to ballet. England became the place where foreign ballet dancers performed in front of rich patrons. Margot Fontaine (1919 –1991) In the early part of the 2oth century English ballet dancers began seriously contributing to the art form.
  30. 30. Ballet Leggings The introduction of stretchable Spandex replaced nylon leg wear and was smoother, less scratchy and stopped bagging at the ankle. Improved fabrics allowed dancers to cover their feet without impinging movement. In practice ballerinas wore tights topped with knitted legwarmers to keep their muscles warm.
  31. 31. Male Principle Dancer During the last century the Male principal dancer (danseur noble) came to prominence. Renowned for their athleticism they generally do not dance en pointe. Rudolf Nureyev (1938- 1993 )
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