L'Atelier Enchante

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The first all-Pelted ballet company, started on Karaka'Ana. Founded in 12 BA as a small ballet school.[1]

Style

It was the Enchante that pioneered the "true en pointe" for digitigrade dancers, which involves a similar foot position and point shoes for them as for plantigrade dancers. They coined the terms ('en plat' for dancing on the balls of the feet, and 'true en pointe'). As with traditional en pointe, the digitigrade edition is extremely hard on the feet, but considered far more elegant and, therefore, beautiful. The elongation of the leg is lauded, and the dancers who can give a slimmer leg are prized. Digitigrade pointe dancers also remain on pointe throughout the performance, which is a feat of physical prowess (and also, lovelier).

Enchante did not put on en plat performances, period, after introducing the first true en pointe performance when they did the Holly ballet in 17 BA. It took over 200 years before they offered an informal series of performances en plat, and all those were specially commissioned works. They won't perform an original en pointe ballet en plat.

Part of their esteem as a company is, in fact, that dancing this way is so much more rigorous and difficult, and requires more training. Many schools differentiate between their en pointe and en plat dancers, with the former being rarer. All the digitigrade dancers in L'Atelier Enchante are required to dance true en pointe.

Culture

The Enchante's dancers can expect to retire by their mid-30s, and most retire earlier because of the rigors of their art. Older dancers are encouraged to remain with the company and coach, teach, or help with the school's administration or the performances'. Since so many end up with injuries, they have a relationship with a clinic specializing in podiatric health.

The dancers pick up French, oddly, because the company retained so many terms of art from French that it slid naturally toward incorporating more of the language in practice and pedagogy. It does not conform to human French, however--the accent is distinctly Karaka'An, and there are Meredan terms mingled in it.

References

  1. Author's Notes