Aux Fleurons De La Danse Of Paris

aux fleurons de la danse shop paris

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Paris shop front

In my world, few things ballet-related tug at my heartstrings more than the image of a solitary cobbler working quietly at his bench constructing a pointe shoe. Even though many reputable manufacturers employ large numbers of cobblers, there is something really beautiful about the lone pointe shoe maker who runs his own little shop servicing the individual needs of one dancer at a time.

Somewhere in the heart of downtown Paris, France is ( or was) such a shop. Here, a dancer could come in and have her pointe shoes made especially for her by Monsieur Dimitri Angelakov .

Who Is Dimitri Angelakov ?

From my hours researching the background of Monsieur Angelakov, I found only  bits and pieces of  his legacy online. There is a patent for the business name from the 1970’s. He is mentioned fondly on a French dance forum and on Facebook.

I don’t know his nationality or the journey he took to learn the craft of pointe shoe making. What I do know is that he was a very special man to the dancers who relied on him for their custom-made pointe shoes in that section of Paris.

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Translated Means:  The Jewels Of The Dance

There is something so beautifully personal about the relationship between a pointe shoe maker and his client. The care and love that goes into making each shoe is obvious in the video.

Each layer, each pleat, every brush of glue and turn of satin is gently and patiently tended with the delicate touch of an artist.

 These precious artisans are tucked away in obscure places, yet mean so much to the traditions of ballet.

As I write this, I am not 100% sure that Monsieur Angelakov is still here.  The last activity noted for Aux Fleurons De La Danse on Facebook was in 2011.  The web domain for his business, auxfleuronsdeladanse.com, expired last month.

Monsieur Angelakov in his shop

Although custom-made pointe shoes are available online, nothing can compare to knowing and talking to the person who makes your shoes. If Monsieur Angelakov has indeed gone to that big cobbler shop in the sky, somewhere on the streets of Paris walks many a broken-hearted dancer.

 

Janas Pointe By Rudoph

Map of Italy

Cagliari is on the southern tip of Sardinia

If you were a ballet dancer and happened to live on the Italian island of Sardinia, what type of dance supply shops would you have access to? If you happened to live in the vicinity of Cagliari, you could request a catalog from Rudolph’s to browse through in between rehearsals.

Some Company Tidbits

Since its founding in 2004, Rudolph has been the main supplier of Grishko pointe shoes on the island. Rudolph is a distributor that appears to only do business through online sales. It’s hard to say if they would allow a local customer into the warehouse for a personal fitting or not.

The company history makes no mention about the founder. Online research shows that the main website is registered to Alessandro Dessi, but that doesn’t mean he created the Rudolph company.

What Makes Rudolph Unique

Rudolph LogoAfter so many blog posts and years of research about pointe shoe manufacturing, I have learned that many companies begin with their own models, but start offering competitor brands that are more popular or mainstream with dancers.

Rudolph did it the other way around. As you can see on their official website, Rudolphdanza.it, the featured shoes are all Grishko models.  In January of this year, Rudolph decided to create their own model; Janas.

What’s So Special About The Janas Pointe Shoe?

Janas pointe by RudolphAccording to the debut advertising, the Janas pointe is strictly a professional shoe that combines a very lightweight construction with a flexible sole. The shoe is created with plastic polymer materials making it one of those “high-tech” pointe shoes.

It has a slightly tapered toe box with a u-shaped vamp. It is made to maintain  elasticity which means that it can bounce back without breaking down. One of the most interesting features is the mention of enhanced aesthetics because of the color.

Rudolph has it featured on its own separate website, Janaspointe.

The Janas pointe is described as a pinky-tan shade and slightly matte. This is supposed to make them blend in with tights giving the dancer a longer, leaner leg. I won’t start freaking out about this anti-satin-shine conspiracy just yet, but am aware that Chacott is also touting pinky-tan blend-able pointes of their own.

Long Live Lustrous, Lovely Shiny Pink Satin Ballet Shoes!

Okay, now that I have calmed down, I can proceed. I am tickled that we can see these shoes live on a video.  I wish every brand took  the time to do this.

To my eyes, the vamps look longer in this video than they do in the pictures. What do you think? They look like very pretty traditional paste shoes, but I see shiny satin instead of the advertised matte finish. 

I was thinking about the name of these shoes and how it relates to ballet. What is the meaning of the name Janas? According to one page on Sevenreflections.com, the name is linked to creativity, boldness, high aspirations, energy and action. That sounds ballet-inspired to me.  * Read more about this topic on a previous post, Pointe Shoe Models-Does The Name Matter?

Feel free to comment and let me  know what you think about these shoes. Learn more about Rudolph on Facebook @ Rudolf Store Cagliari

 

 

The Catatac-Finch No Pain Pointe Shoe Concept

Controlling the ouch factor of dancing on your toes is right up there with finding shoes that fit and look aesthetically beautiful.  Dancers are always padding and wooling, taping and gel-tubing their hurting toes from the friction and impact of pointe work. At the end of the day, a dance student never knows what she will find when she peels off her shoes; a blister, a bunion, a bruise, or all three.

Pain Relief , Modern Materials And Technology

What if someone could invent a pointe shoe that is 100% pain-free? It’s a challenging task when you consider it.  In one of my earlier posts, I was stunned and intrigued by the concept design of the Nike Arc Angel.  Because my heart belongs to the traditional in ballet, these futuristic designs are head-shakers. Enter another shocker; the Finch No-Pain prototype.

Designed On A Computer, Not By A Cobbler’s Hands

Catatac-Finch Prototype By Dennis Finch

Catatac-Finch Pointe Shoes

Dear Pavlova, Perhaps it’s best you aren’t around to see this.

So, how do we make dancing on our toes completely painless? We create a pointe shoe that doesn’t allow any of our weight to go to the toe box. Eureka!

However, as you can see by this photo, it  takes major mechanical engineering to create moving parts from rigid material.  The general premise here is a pointe shoe that has a stiff structure like a ski boot and has a “ledge” under the heel bone to hold you up.

What the computer forgot:

  1. Few of us have feet shaped like an upside-down L that can rest on a ledge.  Movement causes slippage downward, hence weight to the toes.
  2. The brain of a dancer will have to be rewired to use her heels as a reference during turns on stage.
  3.  Feet with low arches will have to lean back for support. The swans in Swan Lake will fall backwards.
  4. Flexibility is a must. Bolts and hinges inside of a pointe shoe is a scary idea. Will they need oiling?
  5. Gravity is gravity.

It appears that this pointe shoe idea was made public in 2011. The shoes were called Cat A Tac and featured as a computerized design on Catatac.net. From the home page, it links to Finch-no-pain-pointe-shoes.com.

It is now approximately 5 years later. The idea was thoughtful in purpose; let’s invent a shoe to give those poor ballet tootsies a break.

 

Part Of The Beauty Of A Ballerina Is Encapsulated In Her Gnarled Toes

Should ballet be painless? Isn’t part of the sacrifice and discipline of dance training to earn a few blisters or bruises? As much as it can be painful, professionals do everything they can to put as little between their toes and the floor as possible.

For many, gnarled toes are a right of passage, a sign of a long and beautiful career as a dancer.  I am not sure if we should be trying to tame pointe shoes into behaving like comfy bedroom slippers. What do you think?

Capezio’s New Pointe Shoe Model-The Cambré

As a person who has followed Capezio products for a long time, there was always a long waiting game before Capezio would add a new pointe shoe model to their collection.  However, they seem to be picking up steam at the factory these days. As you recall, the Tiffany, Bella and Airess made their debuts in rapid succession. Now,  another one has  popped off the cobblers bench this month: the Cambré.

Here a few of the specifications of the Cambré:
  • Dancer’s can choose from two toe box shapes; tapered or broad.
  • The 3/4 standard shank comes in medium or hard.
  • Capezio emphasizes the sole design of this model as being thinner,  shorter and scored for traction.
  • Cambré  is a low profile shoe with a long vamp.
Capezio Cambré Pointe Shoe

The Cambré tapered toe box version

What is interesting about the Cambré is the lack of pleating that is typical on most toe boxes. It is made smooth not unlike the Gaynor Minden toe style. It also has a diagonal or bias side seam in the same fashion as the Mikhail Baryshnikov pointe shoe collection of the 1990’s.

This model reminds me of the Bloch Axiom in concept. It’s all about toe box and platform, less about heel support and shanks to lean on. This is a specialty pointe shoe that is not going to be for the masses.  Perhaps this is a purposeful move away from the idea that Capezio pointe shoes are popular with beginners, not professionals.

Of course, when a new pointe model comes out, I must do my name and image critique ( so much fun!) . Did Capezio give this shoe a good name? In fairness, Capezio always takes professional photographs.

Cambré definition : to arch or bend

Yes indeed, the marketing photo shows a dancer with a high arch trying to bend its way out of those shoes but for the pink satin restraints. The name Cambré works perfectly for a pointe shoe with thin outsoles and 3/4 shanks.

So, what do you think about Capezio’s latest model? Fantastic? So so? Do you think Capezio is making  too many new models too quickly?

 

D’Mauro Pointe Shoes From Cali, Columbia

D'mauro Ballet pointe shoes

D’mauro pointe shoes with interesting curly-cue drawstrings

Are you ready for another pointe shoe brand from South America? In one of my earlier posts, I featured a model from Colombia made by Calidance. It looks like I discovered a possible competitor in the same beautiful city of Cali, Colombia.

D’mauro Ballet  Is All About Dance Shoes

D’mauro Ballet manufactures professional dance shoes for companies in and around the Cali area. They offer both ready-to-wear and custom-made ballet slippers and pointe shoes.  They also make jazz and salsa shoes.

The D’mauro Pointe Model

D'mauro Ballet pointe shoesThere are two things that caught my eye about the D’mauro model:

  1. The drawstrings appear thicker than many I’ve seen on other brands.
  2. The beautiful workmanship of the D’mauro logo imprint on the sole. It has an elegant look because the lettering is applied so precisely.

D'mauro Ballet pointe shoes

Sadly, thanks to my trusted translator friend ( Mr. Google) , there is 100% certainty that the official D’mauro website offers zero specifications about their pointe model. There is no name or number to the shoes. As a matter of fact, the page where they are featured pictures them in a very unusual way.

They are dyed in red-pink with blue bindings and yellow ribbons. At first, my eyes were in shock. What are they thinking? Oh dear, oh my…

Then I thought perhaps this is a representation of the colors of the Colombian flag. Yes, of course. It makes sense.

If you want to see some Colombian- flag-colored pointe shoes, visit Dmauroballet, chose Zapatillas, then click on De Punta to see what I mean. The D’mauro pointe model is photographed in its plainly pretty state on their Facebook page.

A Little Intriguing Note For You:

In Spanish and Italian, a name like D’mauro means of or by Mauro. Could it be that this brand was created by the seasoned dance choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti?  I sent an inquiry to D’mauro and will update this post if they choose to bless me with an answer.

Is it me or do those drawstrings look like little lamb tails?