Ballet Stars

Show and Tell: Inside Royal Danish Ballet Principal Gudrun Bojesen's Dance Bag

Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe

Royal Danish Ballet principal Gudrun Bojesen isn't afraid of a DIY project. To keep her legs and ankles extra toasty, Bojesen cut out the sleeves of an old down parka and sewed them to the inside of her legwarmers. “The calves are the most important part for a Bournonville dancer to keep warm," says Bojesen, referencing the 19th-century choreographer's petit allégro–heavy repertoire. “It really works! I can't dance without them."

With all that jumping, she makes sure to take care of her feet, too. In addition to rolling them out with a golf ball, she stands on Yamuna Foot Savers (rubbery half-spheres) to help work out tension in her arches and metatarsals. And her pointe shoe ribbons are actually lingerie elastics from Paris, which help relieve pressure on her Achilles tendons. “They give every time you have movement," says Bojesen. “A lot of Paris Opéra dancers wear them, but the trend is starting to spread."


Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe

The Goods

Counterclockwise from top left: Dance bag bought in California (“It's from Redondo Beach," she says in a light Danish accent. “I love saying that!"); ski pants (“To keep my legs heated before class, after class, between rehearsals"); instant cold pack; autographed postcards (“In case I meet some fans—you never know who is going to be outside the door on tour"); ballet slippers; Freed pointe shoes (“Two pairs, at least"); Hot Stuff glue (for pointe shoes); tennis ball; golf ball; Yamuna Foot Savers; homemade down legwarmers; water bottle; tissues; Vaseline; rosin (“Good to have on tour"); hairbrush; black bag (for foot supplies); toe pads; money; foot cushion; toe spacer (“It's from Iceland. It attaches to my second toe so it doesn't move around"); toe tape; makeup bag.

Viral Videos

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with Ballet West soloist Chelsea Keefer to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. Keefer offers lots of darning tips, and shares all of the unusual ways that she uses rosin.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

Keep reading... Show less
News
Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

Earlier this year, we shared that photographer Dane Shitagi's Ballerina Project—his gorgeous, ongoing collection of dance photos that have dominated our Instagram feeds for years—would be coming to an end. But all is not lost—starting September 17, you can enjoy over 170 of these photographs in Ballerina Project, a stunning new book showcasing Shitagi's work.

Keep reading... Show less
News
From left: Kathryn Posin Dance Company members Daniel White, Claire Mazza and Momchil Mladenov in Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin. Nan Melville, Courtesy Posin.

Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution might not seem like a natural fit for the ballet stage. But that's exactly the topic of one of choreographer Kathryn Posin's three new ballets, scheduled to premiere at New York City's 92nd Street Y September 13-14.

Keep reading... Show less