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 Post subject: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 11:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: London
I recently started doing some pointe work to strengthen my feet. Are there any other guys around who take pointe classes - or does anyone else have experience / knowledge in this field? Thom

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Performance and dance researcher based in London. I am currently investigating creativity in the development of a ballet narrative.


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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:09 pm 
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Location: Petaluma, California
Citibob...where are you?


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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:28 am 
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Location: London
I am taking classes in London, UK

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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
One UK male performer who dances on pointe regularly is the bharata natyam virtuoso, Mavin Khoo, who explores links between this classical Indian dance form and ballet. Not sure where he does class. Here's the link to his Company's website:

http://www.mavinkhoodance.com/index.asp

Your enquiry is a very specialised area and an enquiry e-mail to Mavin, who is a nice guy, may bring you some information.

<small>[ 06 June 2004, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:44 pm 
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Thanks, thats a useful link. I just checked out his website. I am teaching cultural studies, hence "gender" is quite a hot topic at the moment.

Actually, I am also trying out some pointe work as I will start a psychological study about emotional intelligence and emotional aspects of learning ballet. As pointe work is quite a painful process (at least at the beginning) these lessons are great to find out more about the emotional aspects of learning ballet (en pointe). :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 3:12 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
One of my first male teachers, William (Bill) Earl used to tell us that, "Pointe work was useful (for men) for some things." I've studied pointe work myself, not so much to develop my own technique, but to be able to better understand and teach pointe work to my students.

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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:06 pm 
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Location: Petaluma, California
Sorry about my post earlier, but I remember that a very intelligent and well-spoken contributor to this forum (citibob) had done some pointe work to benefit his training. Moving on... when my brother, Tony, created the role of "Skinny" in Lew Christensen's and Michael Smuin's version of "Cinderella" for SFB in 1973, the two step-sisters danced part of their roles on "pointe". I can remember my brother trying on different pointe shoes, taking some pointe classes to strengthen his feet (so he wouldn't injure himself), asking the women all sorts of questions about sewing ribbons, toe tape, elastics, shoe care, etc. He and his sister "Dumpy" who also danced on pointe for the production, were really amazing! My brother told me that he gained a whole new perspective and respect for women's ability to dance on pointe that he never would have given any thought to before this experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: central california
i can't imagine a guy in pointe shoes... not because of gender, mind you, but guys generally have larger, wider feet. man, that's gotta be a challenge to even just wear those shoes! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:38 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
I'm 6' tall and female. When I stopped dancing on pointe, I gave all of my old pointe shoes to a man who aspired to joining the Ballets Trockadero. He was about 5'7" and could wear my shoes. But maybe he felt like one of Cinderella's stepsisters when he did.


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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:58 pm 
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Location: London
Designcat - I have not that big feet so that is not the problem. I think I take it more relaxed (and less moaning) than most girls :D I dont want to do it professionally but its a good experience. I have the feeling being on a totally different level of dance when I wear pointes. However, in my case it is just for research purpose but I dont think it will harm other guys to get some experience. Especially, this will hopefully develop some better understanding for girls and their problems with pointe work.

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 Post subject: Re: Pointe Work for Guys
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:48 am 
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Location: New England
To understand pointe work, I believe, is to understand the heart of ballet. Understanding can come in so many dimensions, and they are all valid. "Improved my own technique" and "helped me be a better partner" are two common comments on the male pointe experience.

Part of this understanding is also sociological. You cannot understand the sociology of ballet without understanding the centrality of the pointe shoe, its technique, and its role in the creation and (social) elevation of the ballerina. When studying the sociology of ballet, one must study how ALL parties interact with each other over time --- dancers, corporate management, funding, audience and reviewers.

In your study of gender and classical ballet, you may not like the conclusions you come to. Classical ballet was developed in a time and place with significantly different attitudes on gender, equality, class and feminism. Some of these attitudes seem to be so deeply rooted in classical ballet that if you changed them significantly, you would end up with a form of modern dance.

Nine times out of ten, when men are put en pointe on stage, it is to impersonate women --- and the last 10% of the time, it is to be a donkey. The idea of pointe technique as a form of masculine expression has not been explored very much (as far as I know). Wheter this idea has artistic merit remains to be seen. However, if one were to pursue it, one would probably end up deconstructing the classical ballet to the extent that one is left with modern dance. It could last a little while if people are in the mood for deconstructed ballet --- but it would have to be constructed into something that can stand on its own if it were to be more than a fad.

<small>[ 20 July 2004, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: citibob ]</small>


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