The ballet based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a pair of magic shoes that give a dancer the ability to dance fabulously, but do not allow to stop, brings great success to Julian and Victoria.
Victoria falls in love with a talented composer and marries him, despite the objections of a jealous Boris, who warns that she is crossing out her bright future. This is how the conflict between the impresario and the lovers begins.
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In the famous Broadway musical ‘A chorus line’, which I would translate as ‘Corps de ballet’, there is a number where the girls of the corps de ballet tell why they went to dance. They sing the song At The Ballet, where they say that everything was bad in their life, but when they watched the ballet, they were happy, everything was beautiful there. And at the same time they recalled the film-ballet ‘The red shoes’ / ‘Red shoes’.
This prompted me to watch it.
The plot is as follows:
There is a ballet troupe, as usual, its Russian head, Lermontov, is a tyrant and despot, which is also, as usual, in principle. He kicks out the prima ballerina from the troupe when she decides to get married. Because for him all this is nonsense and nasty things that interfere with art. And some time before that, a young ballerina appears in the troupe, dances in the corps de ballet, but one day Lermontov sees her dancing Swan Lake in a run-of-the-mill theater to a gramophone. And therefore, when he is left without prima, he chooses her for this place. And puts with her the ballet ‘Red Shoes’ based on Andersen’s fairy tale.
There the shoemaker gives the girl red shoes, she dances in them, dances, dances and … cannot stop. Because the shoemaker looks like a demon. (Barber from Fleet Street))) (I don’t remember the story, so I’m telling how it was in the film). As a result, the girl cannot take off her shoes and stop the dance and dies.
The new prima dances perfectly, Lermontov decides to make a great ballerina out of her, and everything is going well. Until he finds out that she is having an affair with a young composer who writes music for ballets for him. Here Lermontov flies, kicks out the composer, and she leaves after him herself. Soon the composer and ballerina got married in London. The kid is doing well, but she has nowhere to dance. Meanwhile, Lermontov yearns, calls the old prima and works with her. But suddenly the ballerina comes to Monte Carlo, where they are on tour at this moment. He calls her back, to dance the ballet ‘Red Shoes’. For her, it means choosing between her husband and a career as a ballerina. And so they tear her morally and almost literally to pieces before the premiere – Lermontov and her husband. She sobs, does not know what to choose, her husband leaves, Lermontov calls her to go on stage. She is already walking and suddenly looks at her feet – she is wearing red shoes. The metaphor was fully revealed, as they say.
The film was shot amazingly. This is a technicolor, but not that eerie technicolor of the early 40s, when everything was so bright that it rippled in the eyes. In this film, the colors are calmer, stricter and carry their part of the semantic load. Actors are generally a fairy tale. Diluted ballet is perceived with a bang)
But I thought about something else:
The conflict in the film is a little bit younger than the choice between honor and duty – creativity or a normal life. Emotions and love or professional technique and constant control. Because emotions can fail, but craft techniques can never.
On the one hand, I understand Lermontov – ballet is based on discipline, without this there is no way. Yes, personal life distracts from art. Yes, you have to devote yourself entirely to this. But in essence, he demands that she stop being human. For this, in some places, I do not like art – for etching a person out of a person. Why such an art form that requires you to give up yourself not only spiritually, but sometimes just physically ??? After all, sorry, love causes a n-th amount of quite physical desires. And it is impossible to ignore your body for a long time, it does not easily bear it. And why? Why make the human essence of man the enemy of art?
After all, an ideal dance, behind which there is only a head and sober control – is it not soulless? Yes, emotions are not reliable, but with some control they make the dance rich and varied. That is, the actor does not repeat the role, like a doll, but lives it differently each time thanks to different emotions.
What, in the end, won’t a ballerina do a pirouette because of a family quarrel? Yes, everything is so fixed in the muscle memory that she will do everything in her sleep!
After all, if you accept nature, and this is it, it will give much more! Happy ballerinas in love dance more soulfully. An actor who has survived love dramas plays the drama on stage much more convincingly. Instead of fighting an unequal battle, wouldn’t it be better to conclude a peace treaty and exist in symbiosis?
But these are my conclusions. Everyone else who is interested in this topic, and just musicals or ballet, must watch the film! It is a masterpiece in this genre.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (84.5 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1
English: LPCM Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital Mono