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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This from the blog, "Jill's World":

Cinderella’s Prince savoring the feel and scent of a sweaty pointe shoe in situ

Cinderella a version lost to history: One of the most popular versions of Cinderella was written by Charles Perrault in 1697. However, a mid 19th century version now lost in the mists of time was apparently the first to include the evolving blocked ballet shoe that was morphing into the modern pointe as an important element in the story.

This version of the fairy tale Cinderella, now lost except for the choreographers notebook in La Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, deviates considerably from Perrault’s story and is set in late 19th century Germany and tells of a young German Nobleman just reaching his majority as hereditary heir of a Principality in what is now southern Germany. He was too far from the twin centers of ballet shoe fetishism; Paris and St. Petersburg, to travel there frequently so he vowed to feed and cultivate his growing toe-shoe fetish by establishing a local ballet school with retired dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet whose roots go back to the Court of Louis the XIV in 1661 and the Mariinsky Ballet founded in the 1740s, as teachers for his students.

The student selection process was rigorous, but he managed to recruit a small group of established ballet students from the daughters of the local aristocracy as well as set up beginners dance classes for girls 5 y/o and older until in a few years of unrelenting training and discipline he had a small but accomplished ballet school in which the oldest girls in their mid to late teens were wearing toe-shoes of the most advanced design. And, he had a cobbler shop set up for the sole purpose of providing satin and leather ballet shoes for the students and dancers of his company.

One day on his solitary morning walk to inspect the students at his ballet school the Prince came upon a single ballet shoe lying in the dust of the road. He picked it up and inspected it closely marveling at the tiny, tight, neat rows of stitching the held the ribbons on the shoe thinking the needlework was that of a nimble orderly mind dedicated to her art. Slipping his nose into the heavily stitched block of the shoe he took a deep breath and was entranced by the bouquet of the woman’s scent. It was a mixture of estrogenic sweat, damp leather, paste and fabric and he fancied the shoe still warm with her body heat that had made the block so soft and pliable that he wondered how a woman could dance on her toes in such soft shoes. He immediately became amorously aroused and determined to find the owner and return her shoe.

He hurried on to the school and had all the students and female staff appear before him one at a time trying to find the shoe’s owner, but to no avail and so he asked the Ballet Master to call the roll to see who was missing. The only absent dancer was one of the young French ballerinas, a beloved teacher at the school and who that morning had rushed home suddenly shortly after arriving. And so it was that the Prince appeared at the door of dancer’s thatched cottage at the end of the village. He asked to see the dancer, but her maid said she was indisposed. He insisted and was admitted by her maid who again said her mistress was unwell and wasn’t receiving visitors and he again insisted that she appear before him. So after some time she appeared before him with ashes on her clothes looking pale and unwell and when he asked after her health she blushed and bowed her head and didn’t reply.

Taking her chin in his hand he gently raised her head and in his most gentle and persuasive voice asked her to sit down and please tell him what was wrong so he could make it right. She immediately smiled and blushing apologized for her appearance and said she had been about to light the fireplace in her room to warm herself when a log fell off the grate and covered her with ashes. She said there was nothing he could do since her time of the month had arrived a day early and she was bleeding. She said she expected to be fine by evening as her cramps normally lasted only a few hours at the beginning of her flow.

He understood immediately and was certain the shoe belonged to her, but it was necessary to test his certainty because he intended to make the owner of the shoe an offer she couldn’t refuse. And so he knelt before her and withdrew the shoe from a pocket of his jacket, unfolded its soft satin back and after asking her to extend her left leg and point her foot he slipped the shoe onto her foot and pulled the back over her heel. It fit perfectly! Not one to waste time, while he was kneeling he asked her to marry him and she immediately agreed since she had been in love with him for months because of his kindness to the students of the school and his skills at hunting and diplomacy which she had learned about from traveling minstrels before she arrived in the village to accept a position as a ballet teacher. She thanked him for returning her shoe as the specially blocked shoes were very expensive and took a lot of time to adapt to fit her feet and she showed him her monogram she had embroidered on the inside of the fabric quarter panel of the shoe just to establish her ownership.

The Nutcracker: Prince Freud wrote the story-lines for a series of other ballets that all had the use of toe-shoes for seduction, defense or as offensive weapons and as objects of veneration on or off the feet of the heroines in his stories. And this was at least ten years ahead of the first use of the pointe shoe as a weapon in a mainstream ballet, The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker, a ballet in two acts, music by Tchaikovsky with choreography by Lev Ivanov was first presented at the Maryinsky in December 1892 and in it the child heroine, Clara, contributes to the defeat of the Mouse King by hitting him in the head with the block of her pointe shoe which saved the life of the Nutcracker Prince and earns her his love and adoration in return.

Prince Freud had three daughters by the French ballerina he married and they were all raised and trained by their mother to use their expertise in musicality, technique and stamina in the art of ballet dancing to cloud the minds of the males pursuing them until they so besotted the men of their choice that they got almost everything they wanted and lived happily ever after. By then the process of vulcanizing rubber had been perfected and cervical caps had become effective and the favorite means of contraception in Europe. If carefully fitted and used consistently the cervical cap was extremely effective in preventing pregnancy so the Princesses could plan their families. The daughters married into the nobility of the surrounding countries and in that manner the fetish of the pointe shoe was spread and nurtured throughout the ruling class of Europe.

Male children were tutored in the ballet shoe fetish as part of their earliest education so almost all would seek out Ballerinas as mistresses, consorts and wives in order to support their pointe shoe fetish which in many cases rose to the level of addiction. Even young European nobles sent to be educated in the monastic universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England which were then infamous as hotbeds of repressed sexuality and homosexual Dons could not be swayed from their quest for ballet girls and insisted on the girls wearing their ballet shoes during sex. However, the pattern was broken during the First World War (1914-1918) as nearly an entire generation of the male European elite was slaughtered on the battlefields of Europe and the pointe shoe fetish as a driving force in the lives of the male nobility almost died out.

Cinderella: And then, at the end of the Second World War (1939-1945) a Russian composer and his choreographer produced their version of the story of Cinderella as a ballet in which the pointe shoe became an object of veneration. Cinderella is a ballet in three acts with music by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography by Rotislav Zakharov and was first performed by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow in November 1945. This ballet was the first in the 20th century to use the pointe shoe as a public object of veneration by substituting it for the glass slipper in the fairy tale and by doing so they rekindled the flames of the pointe shoe fetish and worship in Europe.

Reawakened by the ballet the pointe shoe fetish grew in the mainstream of social life under the noses of one of the most repressive and brutal regimes seen in modern times. Ever since Cinderella was first performed the adoration and seduction of the pointe shoe has simmered and bubbled beneath the surface. Slim girls lovely in satin shoes that make their long gorgeous legs look even more beautiful when balanced on their toes. Over the years Cinderella has contributed to the mystique of all the women who have ever danced in pointe shoes. Of necessity in 1945 the fetish was cloaked in the gauzy mists of feminine beauty, skill and artistic temperament, but the rush to smell and own a dancer’s sweaty pointes was on in earnest in Europe once again.
Posted by Jill at 3:41 PM 10 comments


  1. very interesting! Do you have a www address for Jill's World? MsMarie

  2. Hello Marie,

    Interesting indeed. I thought of Leonard Nimoy as Spock raising one eyebrow: 'Fascinating'. Particularly since the blog seems to be not so much about anything as much as ballet.

    I loved a dancer once upon a time, a ballerina. Alas, she gave me no shoes.

    I do have a pair of toe shoes here somewhere that belonged to a prima ballerina. One of my girls 'won' them. I thought it a bit of an odd prize. Just a bit. Kinda like some major leaguer's glove, maybe.

    Here be the link: