Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Of Pink Satin Slippers

Ballet is extremely tradition-based. Not just the actual dancing part, but everything else as well. The etiquette. The way you address a teacher, the way you end class with a bow and a round of applause (who are we applauding? Our teacher for giving a great class? Our stereo stand-in for a theoretical pianist? Ourselves? Way to go, us! Woo!) and last but not least the way we dress.
Thankfully lycra was invented and we don't have to wear baggy knitted stockings and knee-length dresses to class these days. BUT why wear tights at all? Isn't that a little silly? And the shoes! Now, don't get me wrong, I love the shoes. You all know by now how I feel about the shoes. But why the heck do we insist on wearing pink satin shoes with ribbons? It isn't really all that practical. There are better ways to do these things. Elastic happens, guys. But we still wear pink satin shoes with ribbons. Why, you may ask? Because when ballet really hit its stride as a performance art that is how women dressed. Like, all the time.  Here is what a pair of lady's shoes looked like, circa 1830*:
Remind you of anything?

*the picture of the silk slippers came from this site.

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