18 July 2012 at 4.59pm | 2 Comments
Royal Ballet dancers can get through up to six pairs of pointe shoes a week. That’s a lot of shoes, most of them made by Freed of London, a major supplier of custom-made pointe shoes to the world’s top ballet dancers.
We recently took Royal Ballet First Artists Leanne Cope and Nathalie Harrison to Freed’s factory in East London for a behind-the-scenes insight into how this most vital tool of a dancer’s profession are made. They also had a chance to meet those who hand-make up to 40 pairs of shoes a day to dancers’ individual specifications.
With shoes costing the company £250,000 each season - at £216 a week for a busy dancer - the Royal Opera House runs an annual Pointe Shoe Appeal to raise funds. The face of this year’s appeal is Principal Lauren Cuthbertson, who recently re-opened the Freed shop in St Martin’s Lane, London.