Salvatore Capezio was born on April 13, 1871, in Muro Lucano, Italy. In 1887, at the age of seventeen, he opened his shop near the old Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The sign above his door read: “The Theatrical & Historical Shoemaker.”
Soon the shop became a meeting place for dancers who would stop by to discuss their needs and pick up a pair of his shoes. One dancer in particular, Angelina Passone, a graduate of La Scala, lingered over the discussion of her shoes and later became his wife.
As his popularity grew, dancers from around the world made it a point to visit. In fact, Anna Pavlova purchased Capezio pointe shoes for herself and her entire company during her first tour of the United States in 1910. Her generous praise of his work ensured Salvatore’s success.
Eventually, he entrusted his superior shoe making techniques to his family. They joined him in the business and the exceptional reputation of Capezio continued to spread. By the 1930s Capezio products were dancing across Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies and in dozens of other musicals.
An eye for innovative products and the camaraderie he shared with dancers were the key to the success of Capezio. In this spirit, The Capezio Dance Award was established in 1952 to honor those who make a long-standing, significant contribution to dance. The Capezio Foundation was established in 1953 to promote and recognize ongoing achievements in dance.
Plenty of the world’s greatest performers have recognized Capezio as the only way to dance