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Staff Picks Category: Ballet

The Red Shoes []



The Red Shoes is a visually stunning dramatic work about a ballet company led by the ruthless and contentious, but often charming director Boris Lermontov. Lermontov discovers dancer Vicky Page (portrayed by famed English ballet star Moira Shearer) at a society party and realizes her unparalleled potential. Before signing her to his company she must decide what role dancing plays in her life. Is it a passion she pursues or shall it consume her entirely? Can an artist love anything or anyone more than their craft? These conflicts becomes the underlying theme of the picture.

The Hans Christian Andersen story of The Red Shoes is the source in which the main ballet within the film is based. Instead of just viewing the performance from the theater audience’s perspective, Powell and Pressburger take the camera’s inside the action for a breathtaking, 17-minute sequence. We follow Page closely via dolly shots through various enormous, painted set pieces, close-ups of dancers movements and expressions and rich colored lights. The co-directors also chose to allow fantasy to be a part of the stage presentation as well with tasteful in camera visual effects.

The Red Shoes, which melodrama and beauty reach unbelievable heights, is a remarkable achievement in cinema.

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