Moscow based GRISHKO LTD. was set up in 1988, in the midst of perestroika, as a family business. At present, it is the biggest Russian manufacturer of ballet shoes and dancewear and one of the world leaders in the field. Its products won universal recognition and its owners, Mr. Nikolai Grishko, Mrs. Tamara Grishko and Ms. Irina Grishko, all are well-known for their charity work.
GRISHKO LTD. posesses two ballet shoe factories, ballet costumes and dancewear workshops, as well as ballet articles shops and boutiques. They are located in the very heart of the Russian capital, close to the Kremlin. The company’s staff includes more than 300 highly-skilled professionals. GRISHKO LTD. has subsidiaries in Germany, Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
Its ballet shoes and costumes are successfully sold in 32 countries all over the world and are always in great demand by veteran and young dancers, ballet companies, shops, schools, studios and distributors. From the very beginning GRISHKO LTD. managed to harmoniously combine the best traditions and old professional secrets with the newest achievements of modern technology and scientific research.
The company’s designers and technologists who minutely study and generalize Russian and international ballet and dance shoemaking experience, develop new models, carry out numerous tests and closely cooperate with professionals and students. Each pair is made by hand and meticulously checked up by a control group composed of the most experienced shoe masters and former professional dancers.
In the world’s 80 biggest cities, including Athens, Melbourne, Paris, Prague, Seoul, Sofia and Tokyo, there are on sale Russian unique produce—ballet pointe, or toe, shoes.
The French Dance journal says that the only drawback of those ballet shoes is that a ballerina cannot do without them if she tries them on but once. True, prima ballerinas of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Svetlana Zakharova and Diana Vishneva, use only those pointe shoes. According to the prestigious French Dance journal, at present the Russian “Grishko” company producing dancewear is among the world’s leaders.
Almost 20 years ago when private business in Russia was just emerging Nikolai Grishko, economist by education, got a peace of advice from his wife, a dancer, to start a company producing ballet pointe shoes. The would-be businessman took a serious approach to the matter: he studied structure and composition of ballet shoes used by stars of the previous years. By the way, he came to the conclusion that those shoes were most inconvenient. He compared them with sharp-nosed birds adding that a woman cannot stand on her toes having such pointe shoes on. He consulted scientists of six research institutes, including acoustics institute and a laboratory of starch products. As a result, a new model of pointe shoes was designed.
Here is Nikolai Grishko’s opinion of it:
“Our pointe shoes are durable. The secret lies in the glue used in making the toe box, solid part of pointe shoes. Seven layers of different fabrics are glued with a special glue which we worked out and make ourselves. Other characteristics of the model are flexibility, elasticity and stability. We can put those pointe shoes on a table and they will stand balancing. No other models of ballet shoes produced in the world possess this characteristic. In addition, most complicated operations our craftsmen fulfill by hand.”
With pleasure Nikolai Grishko recalls that during a foreign tour of the Moscow ballet Queen of Spain was offered a puzzle what toe boxes of the ballet shoes are made of allowing a ballet dancer to stand on her toes. The queen came up with numerous ideas but failed to guess that it is only fabric and glue. And here is another question. What do you think, how many pairs of shoes a ballerina needs for one performance? The answer is impressive—five pairs! Since a ballerina covers the distance of up to 11 kilometers during one performance. So, pointe shoes should be hard-wearing and most comfortable. And this is the aim of the “Grishko” company.
Nikolai Grishko says that the work to perfect pointe shoes continues. At present four leading theaters of Russia are testing the latest model of the pointe shoes, the tests are expected to end in September. The new model will be by 30 percent lighter than the previous ones. It will be even more elegant and durable. In addition, the shoes will be practically noiseless. That is, they have incorporated all best characteristics of different models of pointe shoes. No one managed to do such thing before.