How Ballerinas Customize Their Pointe Shoes

A big Deal for every Ballerina!

As we all know breaking in new shoes is hard work. Pointe shoes must be broken in to reach the perfect state. Many ballerinas destroy their brand new pointe shoes even before dancing in them.

Each ballerina has her own routine how to customize the fit and support her dancing style. Hours were spent on scraping, ripping, crushing, sewing, and burning, only to end up with a shoe that is uniquely tailored to the ballerina.

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How pointe shoes are made

The secret inside of pointe shoes    

No, they are not made out of wood, and there is no steel in the flat tip! The tip is made of densely packed layers of fabric, cardboard and/or paper hardened by glue. Being extremely sturdy makes it possible to balance the entire weight of the ballerina’s body on a small platform. The rest of the shoe consist of materials such as leather, cotton and satin. The right and the left shoe are identical.

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Wie kann man auf der Spitze tanzen?

Ohne richtige Vorbereitung kein Spitzentanz!

Es sieht so leicht und einfach aus, wenn Ballerinen auf Spitze über die Bühne schweben. Aber unsere Füsse sind nicht für den Spitzentanz gemacht. Ballettanfänger versuchen erstmal auf der Halbspitze, die nötige Balance und Körperspannung aufzubauen. Die Fussmuskeln und Fussgelenke müssen darauf vorbereitet werden, das ganze Körpergewicht zu tragen. Die Balletttänzer wärmen sich vor jedem Training ausreichend auf.  Das Dehnen, Kräftigen und Lockern der Muskeln und der Beine fördert die Beweglichkeit und Stärke.

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BRAVO!

When to clap at a ballet performance

It‘s tricky to figure out the right time to clap at a ballet. First-time goers are often concerned about embarrassing themselves by being the only one to clap. While you would never consider clapping in the middle of a symphony, at a ballet it is completey acceptable to clap throughout the performance to show your excitement and encourage the ballet dancers. Ballet ettiquette is also dependant on culture. For example, at the Bolchoi Theatre, it‘s a tradition to clap long, loudly and wildly.

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How do you write down a dance?

Interview with Birgit Deharde, a freelance Choreologist and expert in Benesh Movement Notation

Why do we need Movement Notation?

Similar to music, dance needs to be written down, but unlike music, dance is a fleeting art. It has taken until the 20th century to find a tool to record dance notations and preserve these choreographies. It was Rudolf Benesh who created a tool for human movement notations in 1955 and defined choreology as „The aesthetic and scientific study of all forms of human movement by movement notation“.

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The Quantum Ballerina

Congratulations to Merritt Moore for Making FORBES „30 under30“

WOW! What an achievement. Not only has Merritt Moore made it onto the Forbes list this year, but she is also the one and only active ballerina with a PhD in quantum physics from Oxford University!

Merritt shared her secrets as a physicist on pointe – “I really do think it’s made me a better dancer to have done physics and a better physicist to have done dance. You need the creative brain in the lab to think of new ideas, and you need the analytic brain in the dance studio to figure out your center of mass.”

I was lucky to get an interview with her. So enjoy these five questions for the Quantum Ballerina!

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Du chic à la Française! Der französische Ballettstil

Was bedeutet Ballett nach der französischer Schule?

Diese Frage stellte ich Mélanie Borel, einer Balletttänzerin des Balletts Zürich, die in Frankreich ihre Ausbildung zur Profitänzerin absolvierte.

Es handelt sich um eine Methode, wie das Balletttraining absolviert wird. Grundsätzlich sind die Schritte, Drehungen und Sprünge in allen Schulen gleich. Es ist ein Stil, ein Akzent. Vergleichbar mit unserer Sprache ist auch das Ballettvokabular: Wörter und Grammatik sind gleich, nur die Aussprache setzt verschiedene Akzente. Weiterlesen „Du chic à la Française! Der französische Ballettstil“