Keeping Up With Sansha Is A Full Time Job

In between scouting the Internet for new brands, I try to make regular visits to the websites posted on the sidebar. Some manufacturers tend to have the same pointe shoe models year after year. Others, like Sansha, are growing their inventory so quickly, I can barely keep up.

I was stunned to see that Sansha has 8 divisions of pointe shoes each with their own collection of models: 600 Series, German, Essentials, Square Box, Stage Line, La Pointe Numero, F.R. Duvall and Academia Series. Wow!

Apparently, if you have feet that go on pointe, Sansha works hard to create a shoe for your foot type and expertise. Although some of my readers may have heard of the models I have listed below, they are new discoveries for me.

The 600 Series Celebrita Is Ready To Go

Sansha Celebrita

Celebrita

The Celebrita is advertised as a lightweight, ready-to-go model for professionals. From the picture, it looks like it has a low-profile toe box.  The shanks are light weight as well.

One thing I can say for Sansha is that they take lovely photographs of their shoes. The name Celebrita has a festive Spanish ring to it, don’t you think?

The Pointes Under The Essentials Category Make Me Feel Like I Am Touring Europe; No Passport Required

From left to right: Peterburg, Tchaika, Versailles, Prague. Can we say Euro-fever? I love the names of these shoes!

The Square Box Division Is An Interesting Concept

I had to think about this for a few minutes. Why would Sansha create a separate category for shoes that have square toe boxes? Most likely for the ease and convenience of the customer. With so many models, a customer doesn’t have to wade through dozens of tapered shoes to find square box alternatives.

Below: Square Box Allegro On The Left, Cadenza On The Right

The jaunty musical names of Allegro and Cadenza are so perfect for ballet. Although they both have square boxes, they have very different specifications. The Cadenza has a full-length medium shank and platform cover. The Allegro has a pre-arched 3/4 shank.

Bunny

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Sansha Pointes: Multiplying Faster Than Rabbits

Several pointe shoe manufacturers like Capezio, Bloch and Freed offer demi-pointe models for young students. I have yet to find one that offers more than  a few varieties.  The  demi-pointe models like the American & English Soft Toe and Selco are still available.

Acadamia Series: Eight Models With Three Advertised Demi-Pointes

Looking under this series on the Sansha website, you find the models Ondine, Katia, Raymonda and Myrtha  featured as having flexible memory shanks that are available in different strengths. Next is the Debutante which is recommended for first-time-on-pointe students.

When A Demi-Pointe Is Really A Pointe Or Vice Versa

Here is the interesting part: the Flor, Ghislane and Beatrix are labeled as dedicated demi pointes made for the first three years of pointe work. The models are on their toes. Has something changed in pointe shoe world that I need to know about?  Take a look for yourself @ Sansha Academia Series.

Selco Demi Pointe

The Shank-free Selco Demi Pointe

Demi-pointes have always been shank-less shoes with hard toe boxes that were not to be used for going on your toes. Sansha, please explain what a dedicated demi-pointe is. If they have shanks and you can go on pointe with them, aren’t they just regular pointe shoes?

Take the vote and tell me what you think:

 

 

The Mayer BX1 By Studio Danza

Mayer BX1Recently, I made a single model discovery of an Italian pointe shoe with the interesting name Mayer BX1. To my old-fashioned ears, this sounds more like the name of a dirt bike or motorcycle, but that is just my ballet-shoes-should-have-girly-names preference.

The shoe is sold by a company named  Studio Danza in Casagiove, Italy. What’s interesting about their official website is that they not only sell their own model, but other pointe brands like Freed and Grishko.

The Mayer BX1  Is Supposed To Last 3-5 Times Longer Than A Traditional Paste  Pointe Shoe

Mayer BX1 SoleThis ultra-modern pointe shoe is constructed with a special type of flexible paste that has little to no break-in time and a sole design that immediately hugs the arch. According to the specifications, the BX1  paste material creates a moisture barrier that prevents it from breaking down as quickly as traditional pointe shoes. Like Gaynor Minden, the BX1 has shock absorbing thermoplastic toe boxes.

Studio Danza has a modern looking website.  They offer several categories of online PDF catalogs, but if you want to see the Mayer BX1, you can visit this link to the shoe PDF and scroll down to page 8.  You can also visit Studio Danza on their Facebook page.

Salvio’s Pointe Shoes-A Fond Farewell

For anyone interested in pointe shoe brands, watching new models appear and discontinued ones disappear is somewhat like riding  a wave. It can be disheartening to learn that a certain model will never be made again.

It is even more sad when a pointe shoe manufacturer is literally forced to close its doors after more than 130 years in business.  Salvio Dance Shoes of Australia will be no more.

So Much History, So Much Legacy

I see the founder of this company, Enrico Salvio, coming to Australia from Italy in 1881 and setting up his cobbler shop with dreams of supplying the dance world with his hand-crafted shoes. A labor of love and hard work; a new life in a new country.

Since 1881, Salvio’s had remained a family business. It was passed down from one generation to the next with his Grandson, Ted Salvio, passing it to his daughter.  Now, in 2016, this precious tradition has been laid to rest.

A Poignant And Touching Goodbye From Salvio’s Shop

Is The Handmade Pointe Shoe Business In Peril?

What happened to the Salvio company? Why did they choose to forever go out of business? According to this article, Australia’s last handmade dance shoe shop Salvios Shoes closes its doors, competition from cheap imports did them in.

Instead of outsourcing their work to exploit cheap labor and materials for a larger profit, they refused to compromise their craftsmanship, values and hands-on approach to dance shoe construction.

This says so much about the Salvio brand name and family. Enrico Salvio would be proud of his descendants for their unwavering dedication to the art of handmade ballet shoes.

Although Salvio has stopped production and closed up shop, any dancer who still has a precious pair of Salvio pointe shoes should hold on tightly as she not only has a collectible item, but a lasting legacy of one of the oldest manufacturers of handmade ballet shoes.

Salvio’s Pointe Shoes-1881 to 2016

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