The Cast Of ‘An American In Paris’ Talks Ballet, Repetto & Life On Broadway

If there was a more perfect Parisian pairing than the cast of an “An American in Paris” and Repetto, we’re not sure what it’d be.

The stars of the Broadway love letter to Paris were on hand at the French ballet flat brand’s New York store today to talk pointe shoes, street style and their favorite parts of the Tony-winning show. The production made headlines for attracting big audiences and mixing ballet with the traditional Broadway musical. Leanne Cope, who stars as Lise, and Shannon Marie Rugani, who wears Repetto pointe shoes in the show, were both on hand.

“I go through my ballet shoes like water,” said Rugani. “Shoes can make and break you. They can hurt your feet or can make you feel like you can dance whatever you put your mind to.”

An American in Paris & Repetto
Cast members Shannon Marie Rugani & Leanne Cope.
CREDIT: Footwear News.
As it turns out, the stars aren’t just a huge fan of Repetto’s famous custom-made pointe shoes onstage, but also the everyday ballet flats. Rugani named the Michael Jackson-inspired shoes in electric blue as her favorite everyday pair by the brand, and one she wore every day last summer.

Cope also loves the street ready styles. “Ballet flats are so elegant, and even now, I see more people wearing them than even two or three years ago,” she said. “When you spend your life in pointe shoes, you don’t want your street shoes to be uncomfortable, too. If you can dance in a pair of shoes, you can walk down the street in a pair of shoes, and that what is so amazing about these.”

Repetto "Michael" loafer
Repetto “Michael” loafer
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.
As for their big roles in the famous show, Rugani and Cope, of course, named the ballet sequence in “An American in Paris” a highlight for them.

“It is always amazing to me that an audience that comes to see a musical, and gives the biggest applause of the night to the ballet,” said Cope. “It’s really rewarding when you think you may have introduced something new to someone. The biggest compliment when you leave stage door is that when you leave is when someone says, ‘I’d never seen a ballet before, and now I want to go and see one.’ ”

Rugani said the music is one of the highlights for her as a dancer. “I love the beginning of the ballet. It’s really that anticipation and that you know what you have ahead of you, but you have to do each step one at a time,” she said.

Access exclusive content