This pair of ballet shoes which I wore to perform my first Tatiana in Onegin, when I was 20, lasted only two days. If I’m not performing on stage they can last up to two months. I constantly sew on ribbons and repair my ballet shoes to make them last longer. There is a huge shoe room at the Royal Opera House with a compartment for each dancer with their name on and all their shoes. There are maybe 10 or 15 pairs per dancer.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.