Bloch’s New Pointe Shoe Models; The Eurostretch & Dramatica

When it comes to pointe shoe fit and beautiful aesthetics, there can be a wide discrepancy in how a shoe looks while on pointe versus a flat or demi-pointe position.  Satin fabric just doesn’t have the “give” to look smooth around the heels both on and off the platform. Those annoying heel crinkles are the bane of many a dancer and professional fitters as well.

Bloch of Australia is now offering a possible solution to the problem; pointes that stretch. They have added two new models to their collection; the Eurostretch and the Dramatica.  Manufactured several months ago, they began arriving in stores a few weeks ago. Bloch made the debut announcement June 12, 2014 on their Facebook page.

The Unique Design Qualities Of The Bloch Eurostretch And Dramatica

European Balance

European Balance

Both of these models are created with a stretch satin heel area. There is a slight difference between the two as far as toe box configuration, wing construction and paste materials. As you can see in the images above, both are split sole shoes.

Because of the split sole construction, the models are recommended for students that have had several years of pointe training and have strong feet. Both  models are manufactured using the European Balance last, or form.

Eurostretch Specifications:

  • Medium u-shaped vamp
  • Low profile toe box
  • Wide, high platforms
  • Make of humidity-resistant paste for durability

Dramatica Specifications:

Sole design of the Bloch Dramatica

Sole design of the Bloch Dramatica

  • Made with higher wings than the Eurostretch
  • Uses TNT heat-moldable paste technology; a Bloch exclusive
  • The Dramatica appears to have a more tapered toe box and slightly narrower platform.

The shank construction of both models is very interesting. The shank is layered with the under-section going along the entire sole and the top shank layer  split to allow the satin to stretch. You can read more about these new models on Blochshop.co.uk.

Stretch Pointe Shoes; Not Exactly A New Concept

To give credit where credit is due, I have to say that the concept of  incorporating stretch into a pointe shoe heel is not new. Merlet of France thought of this idea when they created a half satin, half stretch-canvas model called the Kaliste years ago. You can read about the Kaliste on an old post from 2010.

Is It Possible To Completely Remove Heel Wrinkles On Pointe?

Eurostretch sole design

I don’t know.  Our feet become so much shorter when we stand on our toes. We lose heel depth. I can’t be totally convinced that “wrinkledge” can be 100% wiped out by using stretchy material across the heels. There always seems to be a little bit of seam bulging out or a small air sac that protrudes on even the best-fitting pointe shoes.

Maybe well-placed ribbons and /or elastics will make these types of shoes stick closer than what they appear to be doing in this photo. Doesn’t this heel look wrinkled to you?

Although these new models are not yet featured on Bloch’s official website, it appears that dance supply shops across the country are now debuting these interesting shoes.

New models mean waiting for all the dancer reviews to come in so we can find out whether they live up to the manufacturer’s claim. What you do think about Bloch’s newest shoes?

Sonata Presto Pointe Shoes From Singapore

According to online dictionaries, a sonata is a musical piece that is played, not sung. It consists of  a solo or small group of instruments. In a ballet story, a solo variation and a hauntingly lovely piano sonata is one of immense beauty to watch. The video below is a lovely example of sonata music.

When we think about Sonata pointe shoes, there is one brand that comes to mind; Bloch of Australia. Now there is another Sonata pointe shoe on the worldwide market: the Sonata Presto from Singapore.

With the Bloch Sonata, Bloch is the brand and the Sonata is the model. Here, Sonata is the brand name and Presto is the model.

Sonata PrestoA Real Brand With Information Included Is Priceless

I was very happy to discover this brand. I was thrilled that this company has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and is on Pinterest. I can only handle so many “mystery” brands a month, so this was a joy.

About The Sonata Dancewear Company

According to the company about page, Sonata Dancewear has been in business since 1982. The company founders are the husband and wife team of Mr. Tai Han Kwang and his wife, Ms. Ong Long, a former ballet dancer and current dance instructor.*

They produce many different types of dance apparel and accessories; including their own pointe shoe model; the Sonata Presto. Although the name sounds slightly like a kitchen gadget , the shoe looks very well-made with pleasing lines.

The Sonata Presto Model Is Very Pretty

What makes this design unique is the angled side seam construction; a technique that Baryshnikov was also fond of for creating arch-hugging aesthetics in his now discontinued collection. Few shoes have this.

Sonata Presto General Specifications Include:

  • A tapered box and heel to visually elongate the foot
  • Small platform
  • Medium vamp length
  • 3 shank strengths; order models by choosing Presto One ( soft shank) Presto Two ( medium shank) or Presto Three ( hard shank)

Sonata has an official website you can visit @ Sonata Dancewear.com. They also have a Facebook page where you can learn more about their products.

* Perhaps married couples in Singapore have different last names and the wife is a Ms., not a Mrs. Anyone from that area is free to enlighten us, please!

 

 

Gamba Versus Vozrozhedenie; The Double Intrigue Of Zeta Pointe Shoes

The best part about being a blogger is not only becoming well-versed about the topics you love, but also having the complete freedom to make a post just because. Sometimes this happens when I find two models of the same name, but made by different manufacturers.

I like to compare them visually and “pretend” that I get to choose only one as a favorite. Below, are two different Zeta pointe shoe models. One is or was made by Gamba and the other by Vozrozhedenie of St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Gamba Zeta or Zeta by Gamba

I was very intrigued when I found this shoe. This is the first time I became aware that Gamba made a model called Zeta. As you can see by the photo, Gamba placed the name Zeta in larger lettering on the liner.

The shoes appear to have long, tapered toe boxes, but the profile is hard to decipher.  What I am hoping is that a reader may have more insight and information to share about these shoes.

  The Vozrozhedenie Zeta 

Gorgeous Russian-made pointe shoes are always a joy to find. The first thing I did was to visit the official Vozrozhedenie website located on the sidebar here. However, there is no Zeta model advertised. I have no clue as to whether this model is old stock or a special order. Mysteries! Double mysteries.

This Zeta model has the tell-tale Russian design that is so aesthetically pleasing. The gold-tone imprinted logo on the liner is quite elegant, in my opinion.

Given a choice between the two, the St. Petersburg version is much more exotic and unusual to my American mind. However, the Gamba model could be just as rare and collectible. Neither model has ever crossed my path before.

Reader input is welcome.

Büffel Pointe Shoes From Germany; Will This Design Create A Stampede?

buffeL-2Picture a delicate-looking ballerina on pointe. She is light. She is wispy. Her movements are one of gracefulness and all things airy and weightless. Her feminine pink satin shoes may be Pavlowas or Ballerinas or Princesses. Ah….the romance and magic of a pretty slipper name can be so inspiring for a little girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina one day.

American Bison

Would I look too fat in a tutu?

Move forward to 2014.  Pointe shoe names can sometimes land with a heavy thud on our romantic visions. Such is the case of Büffel; a German concept design shoe for professionals with ready-to-dance technology built-in. Before I mention this wonderful design, let me mention that Büffel translated into English means Bison or Buffalo. Buffalo. BUFFALO Pointe Shoes.

Will Dancers Stampede To Check Out The Design Concept Of  Büffel Pointe Shoes ?

buffeLOkay, so a few of us may find the name Buffalo abhorrent and unladylike. It’s just difficult to picture a buffalo and a ballerina together in one’s mind.  However, the shoe design does have interesting  features. It has patented construction that allows a dancer to be able to go into demi-pointe immediately; no tedious breaking in required.

According to the description, they are lightweight, soft and comfortable to wear. They are made with a slip resistant toe cap. The paste-less shoe has a skeleton framework made of plastic materials that encompasses not only the shank, but the toe box area as well. This expanse of plastic material along the sole portion has a section cut out near the ball of the foot so a brand-new  shoe bends into demi-pointe position quickly and easily. Could this be the new German Gaynor Minden?

buffel-3

For a pointe shoe with the heavy sounding name of Buffalo, they have a surprisingly pretty aesthetic. This is what makes pointe shoe brands such an interesting topic. You never know what you are going to discover out there!

In all fairness to the company, when I found them on Facebook , I learned that the brand name Braun Büffel  ( brown buffalo) was a well-established manufacturer of high-end leather goods in Hilden, Germany way before they created a dance division.

This means a cobbler did not create a pointe shoe model, then decide to name them buffaloes, thank goodness. The Braun Büffel Company has a long, winding history that dates back more than 120 years. They have a large number of store locations all over the world.

You can learn more about this German manufacturer by visiting their official website; Braunbuffel.com.

Ordering These Shoes Is An Unusual Proposition

Why are their pointe shoes not on their official website or Facebook page? I sent an email inquiry to the Australian sales division email listed on their contact page, but never received a response. They ignored me on Facebook as well. Tsk..tsk, shame, shame Büffel .

What I do know is that someone has set up a special eBay Germany page to take inquiries/ orders for the shoes with the following contact information:

Legal Information of the seller
Atelier Zhang, Ye Yun Zhang
Ye Yun Zhang
Lortzingstr. 16
40724 Hilden
Germany

E-mail: Zhang@gmx.de

When you think about it, pointe shoes being offered for sale next to leather  bags, men’s wallets and luggage might look very strange indeed. It is still a mystery why this company decided to put their name on a product so decidedly different from their normal product line.

What do you think? Should this company be required to offer brown satin versions in keeping with the brown buffalo theme? Would it be difficult for you to tell your ballet associates that you dance in buffalo pointes?


Chadova Pointe Shoes- Russian Name, French Description

Chadova  Pointe ShoesI am amazed by the sheer amount of pointe shoe brands that I have been finding lately without even doing intensive hunting. They spring up as if by magic like this mysterious brand of Chadova pointe shoes I found.

Whenever I find a new shoe brand, I spend quite a bit of time trying to find out something to share with you. However, these shoes have left a big blank in the information department when it comes to the production location, buyer source and origin of manufacturer.

Chadova-2

 

The name Chadova sounds decidedly Russian to my ears. The shoes were advertised in French as a design made for les enfants (children) . The only logical French-Russian connection for these shoes may be on a French website dedicated to  professionals in the dance community around Paris, France.

Go to L’équipe pédagogique and scroll way down until you find the paragraph heading Formateurs & Artistes intervenants invités : Classique.  You will find a Mme Chadova mentioned in the first sentence as a dance instructor of Russian technique.

A patent for chaussons de danse (dance shoes)  was registered in 1976 by a Michelline Chadova which you can see here.

It is my best guess that Michelline Chadova was a Russian ballet instructor who designed her own brand for dancers in France where she taught classical ballet. Whether she is still alive or whether Chadova pointe shoes are still being made is a mystery. Intriguing stuff, isn’t it?