Tag Archives: pointe shoes made in Russia

Siberian Swan Pointe Shoes-From Russia With Love

Ballerina wearing Siberian Swan pointe shoesI can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to learn about another brand of Russian-made pointe shoes, the Siberian Swan brand.  I would like to thank one of my  readers for sharing the information with me.

Siberian Swan. What an amazing name. I can almost imagine the dancer floating gracefully across the stage appearing to walk on air by the very tips of her toes.

There is a mystique and a certain expectation of quality when we hear that a ballet shoe is handmade in Russia. After all, Russian ballet training produces some of the finest dancers in the world. Grace and elegance epitomizes the flowing movements of both the Russian ballerina and the swan. The comparison is perfect.

The Siberian Swan Pipeline From Russia To The U.S.A.

The company debuted in the fall of 2016 as a collaboration between a former Bolshoi dancer and the Artistic Director of The Russian State Ballet Of Siberia. Because one of the founders lives in The United States, there is an immediate opportunity for American dancers to get their hands on ( and feet into) these shoes.

Pavlova, Karsavina And Spessivtseva

Siberian Swan has named their three models in tribute of  some of the most unforgettable Russian ballerinas the world has ever known; Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina and Olga Spessivtseva.

I was able to get an answer from Siberian Swan to my inquiry about the differences between the Pavlova and Karsavina. The Karsavina has a slightly wider platform than the Pavlova. They also mentioned that the Spessivtseva model is for future development, although no mention of how far in the future this will be.

Vintage Footage Of  Spessivtseva


What Makes Them Unique And Innovative

These models have some unique qualities that make them different from other pointe shoes on the market:

  • Heel Construction-The inner heel portion has a little gripper flap Siberian Swan Pointe Shoesto help hold the shoe in place. There is also an elasticized drawstring that centers at the side of the heel for extra tightening.
  • Matte Or Traditional Fabric-You can order your pointes traditionally shiny, or go for the matte pancake look.
  • Standard Or Plus Platforms-Models are constructed with either a regular platform, or a slightly larger one based on personal preference.
  • Toe Covers-You can choose to add handmade toe covers as part of your custom order.
  • Cedar Oil Protection-The models contain Siberian cedar oil extract which has healing properties to protect irritated skin.
Siberian Swan Pavlova Plus

Pavlova Plus by Siberian Swan

It’s incredible how many choices they offer so you can get exactly what you need in a pointe shoe. Another fascinating quality about this brand is that they create a traditional handmade product with a lot of  innovative tweaks.

They offer many more choices with custom colors, four widths and three shank strengths.  Learn more about the custom model options on their official website, Siberian Swan.com.

Russian Flag

Боже, благослови Россию

What’s also inspiring is that all these custom choices don’t cost extra. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into creating these choices; most likely from gathering information from dancers and because the founders are/ were dancers themselves.

What I love about Siberian Swan is that it is all about the shoe. No hundreds of categories of fluffy dance stuff, just gorgeous Russian-made pointe shoes.

Siberian Swan continues to innovate the design and construction of their brand. As quoted below from co-founder Alex Kedrov when speaking about their vision, they intend to perfect their design for the benefit of every dancer who needs the ultimate pointe shoe.

Taking quite a lot of experiments, and engineering to ensure support, durability, and the elegance at the same time. Another important thing, as you know, is ability to roll through the demi-pointe, so the pointe shoes are flexible enough while rolling through the demi-pointe, and strong enough to provide sufficient support while on pointe. Our shank is made of special plastic, so the shoes don’t need to be broken in. Active arch support on top of the plastic shank is our technology patented in Russia to provide support for ballerina underneath the heel while on pointe, so the weight is not on the toes only. It is incredibly interesting process.”

You can visit Siberian Swan on Facebook where they have more photos and updates of their shoe debuts/ fittings across the country. What do you think? Should we get excited?  I wish Siberian Swan much success with their company.

Theatre Ballet Pointe Shoes-From Moscow To New Jersey?

In the world of quality pointe shoe manufacturing, the Russian  traditions of design and construction techniques have  always stood out among the competition. You can see this in the beautiful aesthetics of Russian Pointe, Grishko, R-Class, Kiev and Vozrozhdenie shoes. Now there is another Russian pointe shoe brand to add to this site. Theatre Ballet. I am saying this with trepidation as you will learn later.

A Little Interesting Company Information

According to the about us  page found on the company website, Theatre Ballet was founded in 1998 by two acclaimed Russian dancers; Konstantin Dournev and Julia Vorobyeva. Both of them have outstanding credentials in the ballet world for both teaching, choreography and stage performances.

Mr. Dournev and Mrs. Vorobyeva are now teachers and principal dancers for The New Jersey Ballet.  Both have deep roots with all things Bolshoi and Mariinsky. This means offering American dancers and ballet theaters access to the finest in Russian craftsmanship in costumes, props and pointe shoes.

The Theatre Ballet  Pointe Shoe Models Are Made In Russia

Theatre Ballet currently has 5 models advertised on their website. All of them are shown with two shank variations; regular and soft. The design specifications focus around the box shape and platform style. The models can be customized to the individual dancer.

Contacting This Company For Pointe Shoe Info: Frustrating

Let’s face it, I want to learn as much as I can about a pointe shoe model before I write a post about it. The best source of this information comes right from the maker themselves. 75% of the companies that I send emails to are great about getting back to me. The others? They ignore my repeated requests for information, both as a writer and as a potential customer .

Sorry, Theatre Ballet. You are one of those companies. I understand that teaching and choreography for The New Jersey Ballet makes for a full schedule, but a potential customer should always be acknowledged. I have half a mind to create a page showcasing these “no answer” companies, so please excuse my frustrating rant, dear reader. Perhaps you will have better luck visiting their official website, Theatreballet.com.

I simply want to know one thing about these pointe shoes. Are they produced in Russia as the brand name Theatre Ballet, or is Theatre Ballet an American distributor of another brand made in Russia like Kiev  or Vozrozhedenie? I will cautiously add this company link to the sidebar until I learn more.

The Dance Academy Founded By Dournev/Vorobyeva In New York

Russian Class Beauty-The Bonbe And Anima

Anastasia Volochkova

In one of my earlier posts, I speak about the amazing construction and style of the R-Class brand pointe shoe. I also mention that the American representative of the R-Class company is Russian Pointe, based in Chicago.

When you compare both websites to see what models they each have to offer, both R-Class and Russian Pointe  basically offer the same gorgeous pointe shoes.

I found 2 models offered through the R-Class website that I couldn’t find on the Russian Pointe website based in the United States; the Bonbe and Anima.

First of all, the names are quite interesting. The Bonbe and Anima are part of the Classics Collection in the R-Class stock. The Bonbe is made for those with wider feet that prefer a high crown. The Anima is made for experienced dancers that have narrow feet and can balance on narrow platforms. Both are handcrafted and so pretty.

In my opinion, there is almost nothing to compare to the beauty of a Russian ballerina dancing on pointe. Russian ballerinas and pointe shoes made in Russia are the cream of the ballet crop. I don’t know what kind of pointe shoes Anastasia Volochkova wears in the photo above, but thought this photo was a lovely example of the beauty of ballet.

You can find out more about the R-Class Anima and Bonbe by visiting the official R-Class website, R-class.biz.

Bolshoi Pointe Shoes

The Mystery Of The Bolshoi Pointe Shoe

At first, I was very skeptical about writing this article. I wanted to write about the Bolshoi pointe shoes after obtaining enough information about them to have something to offer my readers.

After 2 months of very frustrating research, I’m right back to square one. I’ve decided to share my story and tell you everything I do know about them.

The first time I ever heard about Bolshoi pointe shoes was when my friend, Monica Newell, mentioned having photographs of pre-glasnost era pointe shoes. Monica is  the talented  head designer of Costume Creations in London and is deeply entrenched in the ballet world.

The Bolshoi Theater was in London in 1992. At that same time, Monica stopped by the Porselli Dance Shop near Covent Garden. There, inside a bargain bucket, were several pairs of Bolshoi pointe shoes. Loving the Bolshoi like she does, Monica instantly purchased the lot.

Knowing that the Bolshoi dancers were in town, Monica had a notion to stop by the Gandolfi shop and inquire about the Bolshoi pointe shoes. Lo and behold, the clerk produced 2 bags full of discarded Bolshoi pointe shoes. Monica purchased the second lot and has had them ever since.

Photographs of the Bolshoi pointe shoes were taken, and this is about as far as the story goes. I have spent numerous hours sending e-mails to various departments at the Bolshoi Theater with no response. I have tried contacting Bolshoi dancers through their Facebook pages, spoken with pointe shoe makers, and gone through listings of museums and dance historians only to come up empty- handed.

I was fortunate enough to be given one pair for my collection. The Bolshoi pointe shoes are a true Russian pointe shoe. They are incredibly hard! They are pre-arched with a v-vamp, high sides and heels, and no drawstring. The soles on the Bolshoi pointe shoes are totally unique. The leather is brushed for traction.

I have so many questions about these pointe shoes! Who made them? Why did the Bolshoi Theater stop making them? Did the dancers themselves complain about the shoes? Why is information about them so difficult to find?

The Bolshoi pointe shoes were made and used before 1985 which can make getting information about them difficult, but not impossible. If any of you have any advice, leads, or information about the Bolshoi pointe shoes please feel free to contact me. Any comments are welcome.

These pointe shoes are historical artifacts and a part of the wonderful legacy of the Bolshoi Theater. I believe that someone, somewhere, knows exactly what happened to these magnificent Russian pointe shoes…

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MONICA NEWELL/ COSTUME CREATIONS U.K.

Pointe Shoe Made by The Bolshoi Theater

Bolshoi Brand ballet-pointe shoes

Traditional Russian design with no drawstring

Bolshoi Pointe ShoesBolshoi pointe shoes

Bolshoi pointe shoe sole

Soles are brushed leather for traction

Bolshoi pointe shoes


The Beauty of R-Class Pointe Shoes

What is an R-Class Pointe Shoe?

R-Class is a shortened version of Russian Class. The Russian Class is a system of designing pointe shoes that meet strict criteria of design, functionality, and beauty.

Every R-Class pointe shoe is one that meets the highest level of quality and craftsmanship according to the academic theaters of Russia.

The company was created by the masters of The Bolshoi Theater workshop. Now most of the academic theaters in Russia use the shoes with the “R-class” brand.

The U.S. representative for the R-Class pointe shoe is none other than Russian Pointe, based in Chicago. I know Russian Pointe shoes are extremely well made, but I never realized their deep connection to the Bolshoi Theater and the R-Class standards of pointe shoe construction.

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