One of the most interesting types of pointe shoe brands are those created by principal dancers; be they male or female. Sometimes we never learn about these dancers until we discover their brand on the market.
Such is the case with these fascinating Edoardo Colacrai pointes, or puntas. Edoardo Colacrai was a principal dancer for the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy; one of the finest and oldest opera houses in the world.
He had a long career as a ballerino ( as they say in Italy). It appears that Mr. Colacrai was at the height of his dance career from the 1970’s through the 1990’s. Porcelli, a top-quality Italian Manufacturer, has a lovely pointe shoe model named Colacrai.
The last mention of his name in connection with ballet dates back to the early 1990’s. His name was archived on World Catalog.org as the 1990 author of an article about the Teatro alla Scala.
Of course, as luck would have it, the most fascinating pointe shoe finds have the least information.
On an Italian ballet forum thread from 2008, dancers discuss the fit and performance of his brand of soft slippers. I couldn’t find any specific information about the production dates of his pointe shoes. I spent hours searching for the soft slippers as well.
At least we can get some satisfaction Google-translating what the words on the packaging might mean in English.
On the shoe bag, the large white sticker reads Cucite A Mano, or made by hand.
Approximately mid-center you can see a website address and contact email. The domain name puntashoes.com is an interesting mix of Italian and English, but returns a not-found error message online. I think it would be vain hope to try the email address at this time.
The Tag Appears To Be Break-In Instructions, Not Specifications
Exercise on pointe
Relevés in I, II, V position. Music tempo 4/4
They are performed with two hands at the bar and after eight lessons, in the center.
On the first quarter demi-plié. On the second quarter climb on the tips passing from the half-tip, on the third quarter to go down in demi-plié always passing by half-tip , on the fourth quarter stretch out your knees. Perform eight relevés in each position.
Edoardo Colacrai passed away in 2012. His Facebook page is still published, but is very sparse. A friend and former dance partner created a humble, but loving memorial video of him on You-tube.
It’s fascinating when male dancers create their own brand of pointe shoes during their dance career; like Mikhail Baryshnikov did. The Punta brand by Edoardo Colacrai is a beautiful collectors item. It now lives as precious ballet shoe memorabilia that honors his memory.
Rest in peace, Mr. Colacrai.