Random Happenings

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Sara Mearns, Moira Shearer

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You can purchase red pointes from Grishko, but they have to be made so it takes awhile. I like Sara Mearns style, she is a bit tougher as a dancer. She is very strong, but not as flexible as the Russian dancers seem to be, which in my opinion is perfectly fine. I don’t know why it is such a technical demand to have hyperextension now.

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NPG x68253; Moira Shearer; LÈonide Fedorovich Massine by Russell Westwood

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Moira Shearer is one of my favorite ballet dancers up there with Diana Vishneva. They are artistic ballet dancers, not the type you see today who are only interested in scratching their ears with their feet. These two women were not just creative and virtuous in the dance itself, but they were intelligent! They understood the stories and the characters they portrayed, so the story came to life.

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 The Red Shoes is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a young girl who uses her parents money for shoes. The shoe maker controls her through them, she can’t take them off, she can’t stop moving and eventually dies, by which time the shoe maker can find another victim. In the film adaptation it is about psychological stress of ballet ( I know I know we always hear how it’s soooo hard to be a dancer), but actually it’s more about inner conflict that is somehow controlled by external stresses, not the pressure from others rather the absolute necessity of dance that is told through the story of Vicky Page and her character in the ballet The Red Shoes so it is a story within a story. It is about the obsession and existential aspects of being a dancer. My nana was a professional ballet dancer, and at 91 I still catch her doing barre exercises. Ballet just never leaves you, it becomes a part of who you are, it is the way you hear music, the way you feel metaphysically about life, death, love, melancholy and loneliness. Other artists manifest these feelings in painting, photography, or music. Regardless of the medium, the conflict of The Red Shoes is the same.

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