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Ballet Talk for Dancers

DVD/Videos: La Sylphide

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Yes, for the above two posts--those are the two that I saw! I remember only the one with Aurelie Dupont and TC you are right, they were absolutely amazing, both the Dupont and Gano. I have never seen such dancing before.

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Any chance you'd be willing to summarize in English for the rest of us?? :clapping:

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Very Rough online translator translation:




Laurent Queval is a young retired one Ballet of the Paris opera. After a career to the scene, it evokes for Dansomanie His new trade: shoe store of ballerinas. Examples to the support, it delivers us all the secrets of the conception of a good dance slipper!


I am a pure one produces Paris opera. I frequented the dance school while she was located again under the roofs of the Palace Garnier. I there entered to 9 years, and I was engaged in the ballet body to 16 years. I profitted again of a work contract of the former type, this that allowed me to remain until the age of 45 years [THE AGE of the retirement was formerly of 40 years for the women and 45 years for the men. A justice decision considered this does as discriminatory, and all the born dancers after 1963 are subjected to the new system, that foresees a departure to the retirement for the artists of the two sexes at the age of 42 years and half , editor's note.].


I attained the subject rank, but that did a certain time that I did not pass anymore the promotion competition. In fact, I had to undergo several surgical interventions; the last one was so serious that my doctor warns me that it is necessary for me maybe to renounce the dance. It is himself strong fortunately cheated.


When one leaves for the retirement, one perceives automatically a pension , this that allows see to come, financially speaking. But the separation of the Paris opera is lasts, and day to the next day, one feels that one is not anymore nothing. If one excepts the stars, it there had not to my knowledge, in the recent history of the house , that an alone dancer that the Direction recalled on scene after it took his retirement, this is John Marries Didière.


In regards to me, I continue to dance for the pleasure, to maintain my physical health and moral. Brigitte Lefèvre authorized me to continue to follow the courses with the ballet Body; the hardest remainder nevertheless of not more to be able to go in scene. One feels a little as a kid to that one forbids go out in recreation when rings the bell.





In parallel to my activities to the Paris opera, I followed by other ways. I notably did some brief incursions in the movie, as an actor. I have first turned of the advertising films, in particular for water minérale Vittel, this that next drove me to play in long measurements, as 3 places for the 26, of Jacques Demy, with Yves Montand. I there played the role d'Yves Montand young. This is maybe that that helped me to hold the blow, when I left the ballet Body. I also had participated in a film with Philippe Léotard , that, because of the War of the Gulf, never was broadcasted.


Since that I am at the retirement, I a lot struggled myself to come back to the movie. The movie, this is a little the logical continuation of this that one wondered me at the time of my last years to the Paris opera, c'est-à-dire essentially a work of actor. Indeed, the game , this does there be of more important one. It is difficult to rediscover a place to the movies, when one left the environment; I myself there employ nevertheless everyday for, importantly, this is that that I want to do.


When the end of my career arrived, I have, on the counsels of my spouse , prepared my reconversion, and I have as some colleagues passed the aptitude Certificate of dance professor. In 2002, I began teaching the classic and the jazz to the Conservatory of Chartres. I was besides to the era it alone dancer of the Paris opera to teach the jazz. But the teaching did not suit me really , and I renounced the end of a year, to recycle me… in the slippers!



First not in the slippers


Of 1996 to 2000, I already had had the occasion to work a little for the corporation Repetto – Gamba as a counselor technical one and commercial. This is a history enough rocambolesque. The place then was occupied by Georges Teplitsky, an old one of the Paris opera. It had left to dance to the Cape, in South Africa. Fascinated leathers and of peausseries, it there was founded a manufacture factory of slippers [Teplov, in 1979, editor's note.], after that of health boredoms prevented it from continue to produce itself on scene. Personal motives the next pushed to return to Paris, where it was engaged with Repetto. Always for personal reasons, it suddenly had to return in South Africa, and proposed me his post. In four months, it formed me for, to true to say, I did not there know nothing in slippers.


I thus remained four years with Repetto, before to drop to devote me to the teaching, as I said it higher, for finally to return in the «commerce» points. Has present, I work for Attitude Broadcasting and for the factory Merlet, of Dismiss, where I in charge of analyzing the products intend for the dancers, and to see which improvements it is possible of there to bring.



The slipper «Paris Opera»

Once per year, the direction of the Paris opera proceeds to a call of offers, and the happy elected official become official suppliers of the ballet. The dancers perceive then of the «good of slippers» of a determined exchange value, that they can spend with the withheld suppliers. The interest of the system is that the dancers have not nothing to pay out for their slippers.


The men have straight to two pairs of half points a months, I believe, by way of «rumble funds» for the courses and the repetitions. Thereto, add the necessary slippers to the spectacles. To each climbed on scene, the dancers combine a number of «points», that give to them next straight to an or several additional pairs of slippers. For the women, the system is the even, with what's more, evidently, the supply of points.



The length life of a pair of points

The thing more important, in the manufacture of the points – and this also the secret more jealous kept -, this is the used glue for the assembly of the slippers. This is a vegetable glue, of which the composition is specific to every brand.




A slipper of not at all is composed from a «can», sufficiently rigid , that surrounds the foot fingers and of a «vertebral column», the cambrion, in drinks restored or in composite materials as the Texon or even THE polycarbonate (of which the characteristic is to rediscover their initial state after to have undergone a deformation), indeed the plastic one. The firm Sansha had even used bamboo there is some years for its arched, that besides the characteristiies to be interchangeables.


Four types of arched , synthetic or some drinks.

The third cambrion is set up on a cut skate, the fourth one on an entire skate.



The cambrion himself is set up on the skate (internal sole), of which the hardness and the form can vary in important proportions. It exists also skates said «cut skates», that allow the heel to take back down behind when one climbs on points; this skate type is destined uniquely to the professional dancers, that possess a very strong foot neck. A dancer beginning has rather need of a very curved slipper, that maintains fermement the foot , with an entire skate, this that allows pushing strongly on the heel and facilitates the climbed on points.


Two slippers to the shapes different. The second, very strongly curved, belonged to Agnès Letestu


Once the foot neck worked, the climbed on not at all becomes easier , and one then can choose for a flat slipper rather than a curved slipper, with a type skate ¾ or cut to the half. Certain dancers prefer besides «to tinker with» themselves their slippers, while buying entire skates that they cut again next to their way. Nathalie Aubin, for example, use cut skates that she reinforces while coating them varnish, in order to obtain a maximum rigidity.


Defunct slipper of Nathalie Aubin, cut to the circular saw for some to put the interior in evidence.

One will notice the cracks of the varnish added by the dancer , on the cut skate to the 2/3


Put in can


The can is a canvas layering of oozes juice and of paper, sometimes paper newspaper, in reinforcement on several put to bed. For the anecdote , with Freed, while cutting up the slippers, one finds sometimes feuillets of daily English! The internal layer is in cotton fabric fine, of manner to assure a good comfort to the foot. The external surface of the can of the slipper is covered with silk paper, of manner to this that weaves it canvas of oozes juice be not visible under the satin salmon that uses finishing.



The layering of the put to bed , interior towards the exterior one, here east well visible:

cotton, paper, canvas of oozes juice, silk paper and satin


On a plateau!


The platform – or «paved» - the left before slipper, that bears the whole weight of the body when one climbs on points. Certain manufacturers there incorporated synthetic materials , to absorb the shocks. The inconvenience, this is that the dancer not «feels» more the ground; the check of the movements becomes more difficult, and she then is attempted to look at its feet , this that evidently is not counseled! In certain cases, that turns to the headache. In fact, without resorting to to these synthetic materials that nuisent to the sensations , how return more silent the entry of the thirty-two Swans, in the Lake? And again, these days , the floor of the scene is covered with Balatum (Linoleum ), that lessens a little the noise. I leave you to imagine the vacarme , when this surface was in floor!


Square platform (to the left ) and elliptic platform (to right)


Choice question


When one chooses a slipper, it is necessary well evidently first to determine the size. Next, the dancer decides if she wants glue between the top of the can and the cheeks – or «wings » - slipper. One there can put a lot of glue, little, indeed not at all according to the degree of desired rigidity. Then, one determines the type of cambrion and of skate to put in the slipper. It is necessary also to specify the platform type as one desires: wide, narrow , square, elliptic... at last, one passes to the definition of the cuts:


- Height and forms empeigne: round or in V, high or low (the height of the empeigne is the distance that separates the floor of the «winnowed», liseré that trims the slipper, cf. illustration).


Slipper to round empeigne, rather high. The winnowed one (of or escapes the elastique) well visible east on the pourtour


Height of the side to the right of the sewing, height of the heel or «rear neighborhood». For that, one observes first the aspect of the on foot flat slipper, then one sees this that that gives while climbing on the point. It is necessary a heel height such as the dancer be at the limit of the sensation of déchaussement. In fact, for aesthetic reasons , it is necessary to do in to go out that the cut of the heel be most possible lowest. When one goes on points, the foot descends in the slipper and liberates itself towards the exterior one, by the foot neck. It creates himself then a «beak», a pliure disgracieuse to the inferior party of the heel. To compensate the weak height of the cut and limit the risks of déchaussement, most of the dancers sew small invisible rubber bands , that pass over the ankle. Certain manufacturers tried to adapt extensible structures on the slippers, but to the end of some minutes, that gives frightful crampes to the dancers, of which the feet insufficiently are maintained.


One breaks all?


It is necessary to break a slipper? There is not rule , that depends on foot, and each does this that suits for him. Certain dancers of the opera break them even in a door encoignure! Has their risks and perils… in any case, a pair of points , this is as a leather jacket, one never is well inside when this is nine!


On a big foot


Today , the average size of the feet is bigger than there is some years. The feet of the dancers widen themselves; a lot of them belong now to the «generation basketballs» and do not carry anymore shoes of narrow cities, kind escarpins. That has real consequences on the morphologie of the feet. The manufacturers have to the also to adapt itself to this evolution, and furnish more and more wide slippers, all while preserving the fineness of their aesthetic one…




The second website didn't work out so well . . . can somebody else try?

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These posts really have me interested in the new version. I have seen the old one, so now I'm looking forward to watching the new one and taking a close look at their footwork.

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  • 3 months later...

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