La Sylphide: the most important classical ballet you’ve probably never seen

   All right, a show of hands: who’s seen the 1832 ballet, La Sylphide?  {{Looks around}} Yup. I’m not surprised. And for the record, I didn’t raise my hand either. But its importance came to mind last week, as I was researching for a Top 10 Classical Ballets list and found myself indecisive about the … Read more

10 odd facts about pointe shoes

Back in the late 18th century, the ballet world decided that female dancers should look ethereal, sylph-like, as if they could fly. A theater man named Charles Didelot came up with a flying mechanism, via harness and pulleys, that allowed dancers to rise to their toes before becoming wholly airborne, wafting across the stage like a spirit. … Read more