The Menkes Liceo: Sturdy Looking Spanish Pointe Shoes

Menkes storefront, Madrid, Spain

A Menkes storefront in Madrid, Spain

When you think of dancing in Spain, you naturally think about the passionate art of Flamenco performances. Nobody expresses the excitement of this genre more than the people of Spain.

Spain is an incredibly beautiful country. It has so many cultural and historic gemstones to be proud of; amazing food, scenic landscapes, vibrant music and good-looking people, of course.

What Spain also has is a well-established dance wear company that I have been thrilled to discover; Menkes. The hub of the company is located in beautiful Barcelona.

The Menkes Company Continues To Expand Globally

According to the company history page, Menkes has been in business for over 50 years creating top-quality costumes, theatrical supplies and many different types of dance shoes.  It was founded by  a passionate tailor/ costume maker, Marcos Menkes and has grown into a multinational supplier of dance goods. Menkes has shops all over Spain. They also have locations in Paris, Miami and in New York.

The Menkes Liceo Model- A Seriously Sturdy Looking Shoe

Liceo pointe shoes by Menkes

Liceo by Menkes

Liceo is an unusual name for a pointe shoe model, isn’t it? It wasn’t until I found the Spanish translation of this name that it made more sense.

According to the Spanish language translation, it means: A place where people gather to participate in cultural activities.

In this case, it’s a shoe where toes gather to participate in pointe work. Perfect. From the pictures, it appears that the Liceo is one of those work-horse type of pointe shoes that are made to last.

Menkes And Their Pointe Shoe Collection-Missing Facts

Menkes has a few company-related pages on Facebook. Because I didn’t see any pointe shoe models on their website for sale, I am highly curious to know how or if they can still be purchased. As usual, I am waiting for a reply from the Admin of one of those pages to learn more.

In the meantime, we have another Spanish pointe shoe brand that can be added to the sidebar. Olé !

Menkes Contact Information:

Menkes, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 646, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Menkes Facebook Fan Group

Website @ http://www.menkes.es/#

Rommel & Halpe, Capezio Of Brazil And The Cerrito 07

Rommel & Halpe Ballet Slippers

Rommel & Halpe Ballet Slippers

Capezio is one of the most reputable and well-established dance wear suppliers in the world. They provide apparel and shoes for dancers all over the world. What makes their business so interesting is that they offer different types of pointe shoe models based on a particular market or region of the world.

Way down south in Brazil, Capezio offers many models that are not made for the American market. One of those models is the Cerrito 07.

Capezio Of Brazil And Rommel & Halpe Are Mixed And Mingled

Rommel & Halpe are pointe shoe makers that collaborate with Capezio in their Brazilian factory to design and construct many models; including the Cerrito. Here is the interesting part: Some Cerrito models are branded Capezio and some are branded Rommel& Halpe.

The Cerrito 07 Is Marketed As A Student Shoe

  •  According to product descriptions, the Cerrito 07 model is a popular beginner shoe for dancers with weak, undeveloped feet. They work for Greek or Egyptian-type foot shapes.
  • The have low, u-shaped vamps.
  • Shanks are available in 2 strengths; normal or enhanced.
  • They come with a suede toe cap.

Some Cerrito’s For You And Some Cerrito’s For Me

When I discovered the Cerrito model sold under both names, I was very intrigued. Rommel & Halpe does have a business address of their own in Brazil. Do they make some Cerrito’s for Capezio and some for themselves?

Do they walk over from their own business everyday to make a quota for Capezio, then return to make their own Cerritos later? The world of pointe shoes can be quite entertaining when you let your imagination run wild.

Apparently, Rommel & Halpe either had, or continue to have a business that credits their company name on the product. It could be that they are extremely talented cobblers that Capezio needs to construct the best shoes for their client base in South America. They are known as experts in the leather tanning business as well.

On Pointe Wearing The Cerrito

I could not find any website for Rommel & Halpe. They are somewhat mysterious although their name is well-known and out there in the dance community. It is amazing that the above video account belongs to Rommel & Halpe, yet is an advert for the Capezio Cerrito.

I wish Rommel & Halpe would come out of the woodwork and explain things. Even their Facebook page is as deadly quiet as a mortuary basement. The only contact information for the company is below:

ROMMEL E HALPE LTDA
R AGOSTINHO GOMES 373, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Phone: 1132729010

Electronic Pointe Shoes? Shocking News For The Ballet Traditionalist

Pretty pink satin shoes with delicate ribbons, hand sewn with love and dedication.  Sugar plums and fairies, tutus and tiaras, electronic wires. Wait. What?

As a proud ballet traditionalist, I admire and adore the look, feel and performance of old-fashioned hand pasted pointe shoes. They don’t require silver toe taps, built-in padding, heat molding, anti-bacterial properties or any other bells and whistles as far as I am concerned.

Apparently, that makes me a ballet fuddy duddy when it comes to progress on pointe. Anything that veers too far away from classic pointe shoe design tends to disturb my traditional ballet heart.

Now that a Spanish dancer has invented electronic pointe shoes, the thought is both fascinating and off-putting at the same time. Why are they trying to kill the time-honored traditions of classical ballet? Can’t they fiddle with a space-age design concept for tap shoes instead?

Look Mommy, the ballerina has electric shoes!

E-TRACES, memories of dance from Lesia Trubat on Vimeo.

Clever or crazy? What are your thoughts about this new pointe shoe invention? Does this disturb your beliefs about traditional pointe shoe design or do you think they are a realistic product that could become a staple in dance theaters?

Fouette Pointe Shoes From Argentina

If you are familiar with popular brands of pointe shoes, you are probably aware that Grishko of Russia makes a model called the Fouette. I recently discovered another Fouette pointe shoe from the gorgeous country of Argentina, South America.

In this case, Fouette is the brand name of the company and they give their shoe model the same name. The Fouette company appears to be a popular manufacturer in the Buenos Aires region of Argentina.

 They are a wonderfully convenient provider of dance supplies because their shop is located across the street from the Teatro Colón ; one of the top-rated opera houses in the world and the largest in Buenos Aires.

Being in such close proximity to a world-famous venue like the Teatro Colón makes me wonder why I couldn’t find a company website to save my life.

Fouette Viamonte, 1177 (1053) -  Cap.Fed. Buenos Aires - Argentina Fono: (5411) 5032-2547 / 5032-9010 ventas@32fouette.com.arIf dancers from all over the world come to perform on that stage, wouldn’t they like a business website to make long-distance ordering easier?

Of course, I could be mistaken. They may indeed have a website. I just can’t find it. However, I did find the contact information for anyone interested in making an inquiry:

Fouette
Viamonte, 1177 (1053) – Cap.Fed.
Buenos Aires – Argentina
Fono: (5411) 5032-2547 / 5032-9010
ventas@32fouette.com.ar

I wonder if that is the owner and founder of Fouette standing in the entrance of the shop? How I would love to open those doors and make a beeline for the pointe shoes and slippers!

These beautifully worn Spanish Fouettes are interesting, aren’t they? I would love to have a pair for my collection. Sadly, I couldn’t find any information about the exact specs on this shoe. In some photos, the toe boxes appear tapered; in others, rounded.

This brand is very intriguing to me. I am going to send an email inquiry to Fouette asking if they have a website.

Note: By the time I came back to finish this post, Fouette had already responded. Unfortunately, they do not have a website at this time, but their fast response is incredibly admirable and professional. Muchos gracias, Fouette.

Capezio’s Latest Model-The Studio

Capezio Studio Pointe Shoe

The Capezio Studio made its debut April 2014

With so many links and companies on the sidebar, checking in for new products is a full-time job. Offering the latest and the greatest dance products to customers makes some of these sites an ever-changing merry-go-round of shoe models.

Just the other day, I was walking around in my Capezio Pavlowa’s for the sake of nostalgia. Since this is the model I wore way back when, I wondered why the vamps felt much longer than I remembered.  Do our toes shrink as we age, or had Capezio “revamped” the vamp?

When I got to the Capezio website, I found a much smaller listing of models than I have ever seen before. Where did everybody go? Many old familiar models were gone, including the Pavlowa. However, a new model was now being featured; the Studio.

Capezio Studio Pointe Shoe

Capezio Studio. According to Capezio, this shoe has the hardest toe box in their collection. Not only is the drawstring elasticized, but the binding as well. The wing blocks are high. The Studio has a shorter sole, lower heels and quieter boxes.

 See The Capezio Studio In Action

When it comes to construction methods, some dancers enjoy the shrink-wrap effect of tightly pulled elastic in their shoes. They don’t mind the wrinkled prune appearance when the shoes aren’t on.

Capezio Studio Pointe ShoesThere is definitely a market for pointe shoes that stretch and conform to the foot beyond adding well-placed instep elastic and ribbons.

Capezio’s Shank System

Capezio has a simple method for labeling the strength of their shanks:   The #1 is the softest shank, # 3 a medium hard shank, the #5 an extra strong shank. The Studio is available with a 5.5 or a 7.5 shank hardness.  (!)

It would take a powerhouse of a foot to break in 7.5 shanks. I can only imagine what a demi-pointe would feel like in a new pair; bending a slab of concrete? On the plus side, the Studio has all the features that could make it an incredibly tough and durable pointe shoe.

If you own a pair of Capezio Studio’s, feel free to leave your honest review here.