Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tutus, Ballet Shoes and Another March Plan

I'm in love with this puppy and his pink tutu.  I have to get over to Mood Fabrics on 37th Street where they go on Project Runway to get started on a sewing project as I vowed to do this month.  Doing some research on a famous photographer today I found out that he had been married to a celebrated ballerina of the New York City Ballet
It's been so many years since I stepped onto a stage, but I've been thinking about trying a class again.  When learning ballet you start with soft, flat slippers and eventually build up your strength for the holy grail of girly, pink, wonderment: your first pair of pointe shoes.  The creation and preparation of these harder shoes is a highly skilled, handmade craft.  There is much that a pointe shoe must go through before it's ever put on: the hard sole and toe box must be cut, sewn, shaped, pleated, baked, cured and bound in a very individualized process so it's no wonder that professional dancers become very attached to their specific shoe artisan's work.  

You would think that such a perfect, smooth satin shoe would then be cherished and protected carefully, but once shoes are in hand, the dancer sews on her own elastic and ribbons, positioning them at exactly the right place for her foot, breaks them in by pounding them on the floor, bending them in half, ripping off the satin from the toe to make a more stable platform, then binds her toes with foam, bandaids, paper towel, tape or lambswool and is finally ready to create the floating illusion of weightless, effortless grace.  A pointe shoe may only last a few hours, a few days, maybe, and then the breaking-in process has to be started again with a new pair, so many dancers keep several handy.   
I'm not sure if I'll ever be up on my toes in pointe shoes again, but I'm going to check out a class at Peridance Capezio Center near Union Square, so I was thrillled today to buy a pair of the soft pink slippers from On Stage Dancewear at Madison and 34th Street.  These are just made from canvas, no hardware inside, so now I just have to sew on the straps and definitely do a little more stretching first.  It's been a while...

7 comments:

Jami said...

adorable pup! And I love project runway!

trishie said...

hey i think it's great you're going back to ballet again...and that picture of the dog is just too cute!

Jen Kim said...

hi Jami, yea, i tried to follow project runway when it moved to lifetime from bravo.

and thanks, trishie! i'm excited for class next week :-)

PinkBow said...

oh i went to an adult ballet class a year or to back...but sadly got bored with it. i still love watching it though & there is something so pretty about ballet shoes.

Jen Kim said...

thanks, PinkBow, yea, the beginning is pretty slow, but i used to spend a ton of time around ballet shoes, so i want to try it out again. we'll see how it goes... thanks for reading :-)

jozen said...

I LOVE project runway, i even watch super old reruns.

i love ballet, i wanted to be in ballet class so bad when i was little, but my mom enrolled me in piano lessons instead. but now i have a little girl, whom i enrolled in ballet, and she LOVES it!!

PS. i love new york, it's one of my all time favorite cities. been there twice and want to go back again :)

Jen Kim said...

hi again, jozen, thanks for your comments! you should check out this adorable ballerina party, maybe for your daughter's next birthday...

http://glorioustreats.blogspot.com/2010/03/snowflake-ballerina-party.html

funny, i took piano too, nice to be artsy ;-) you should totally visit nyc, there's a lot here! oh and i kinda wish project runway was still on bravo, but yea, it's a pretty fun show.

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