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2017 Pointe Shoe Collection

Some new acquisitions to New-York Historical's collection attest to this extra labor: used pairs of shoes that show intense signs of wear and layers of coloring in tan and brown. The shoes reflect the experience of their previous owners, former New York City Ballet dancers Silas Farley and Rachel Hutsell.

2017 Pointe Shoe Collection

Between 2017 and 2018, shoe manufacturers Gaynor Minden and the nearly century-old company Freed of London finally began producing shoes designed especially for dancers of color in various shades like "bronze" and "cappuccino." New-York Historical society curator Debra Schmidt Bach happened to read the news coverage about this development at the time and decided that she wanted examples of these shoes in New-York Historical's collection. Schmidt Bach's son has long been passionate about the performing arts and now works as a stage manager on Broadway, and she credits this for her own interest in collecting around New York's storied performing arts scene.

The satinThe top of pointe shoes is covered in bright satin. Most pointe shoes will fit either foot; there is usually no left or right. The toe box tightly encases the toes, so that the dancer stands on an oval-shaped platform at the tip.

The pointe shoeToe boxes may be more or less stiff; they may be shallow and barely cover the tops of the toes, or deep; some have extended sides called wings to provide extra support along the sides of the foot.

The Station: Carefully curated dancewear and hourly studio rental. Our downtown Kalamazoo location offers the region's best selection of leotards, shoes, tights, warm-ups, dance-inspired fashion and accessories for ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip hop, ballroom, character, etc. Our shop carries shoes and attire for dancers of all ages. Studios can be rented by groups or individuals for class instruction, rehearsals, photography, meetings and small events.

In November, our Arise team gathered donations for Christmas boxes to send overseas. Our students continued to work on technique in their classes and learned Christmas routines. December was a fun month at Center Stage with a Polar Express Party, team holiday parties, and a pointe shoe trip. Our Pointe I dancers earned their pointe shoes and went to get fitted over the holiday break.

Pointe shoes are made of layers of fabric and glue covered with satin. The tip of the shoe is a hard box made of dense fiber, cardboard or paper. Our pointe shoes are custom fit for us, and we have techniques to break-in the shoes. To get my shoes ready I cut the shank (a box within the front end of the shoe that encases and supports our toes) so it breaks where my arch is, for a more flattering shape. This also enables me to wear the shoe for longer. Then, I step on the shoe to flatten the top and super glue the tips so they last longer.

The Joffrey Ballet company records date from 1877 to 2017 (bulk 1956-2009) and document the administrative, promotional, and creative output of the company between from its inception in 1956 to the present day. The collection is arranged into eleven series: Photographs; Production and Technical Files; Scores; Programs; Press and Publicity; Company Files; Posters; Works of Art; Costumes and Artifacts; Designs; and Recordings. The recordings are currently unavailable, pending digitization. Photographs, production and technical files, and scores comprise the majority of the collection. 041b061a72


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