Michael Powell’s The Red Shoes (1948) is his greatest work and one of my all-time favorite films. The Red Shoes is a work of art about art. Its central characters are ballet impresario Boris Lermontov (brilliantly played by Anton Walbrook), ballerina Victoria Page (acted and danced by Moira Shearer), and composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring, who was much too old for the role and looks ridiculous smoking a cigarette but is otherwise adequate). (more…)
Praise to Apollo, Dance of Dionysus: Death & the Dawn in Russian Ballet
This is an old and very cruel god . . .
We will endure;
We will try not to wince . . .
If indeed it is for your sakes,
If we perish or moan in torture,
Or stagger under sordid burdens
That you may live —
Then we can endure . . .
Without utter bitterness.
But, O thou old and very cruel god,
Take, if thou canst, this bitter cup from us.  (more…)
I think it was the overly pious tone of her voice that first made my stomach churn: the sickly sentimentality of the pretentious do-gooder, quickly followed by the first sight of Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s pallid face, saying things like, “This creation is my way of coping with the world at the moment,” which immediately sent me rushing to the toilet as if I had food poisoning.
Pite continued, “And I can’t not talk about it. (more…)
Igor Stravinsky is justly regarded as one of the giants of twentieth-century music. His influence upon contemporary music has been enormous; composers influenced by him include Carl Orff, John Tavener, Aaron Copland, Edgard Varèse, Frank Zappa, and others. He is best known for his three ballets: The Firebird, Petrushka, and The Rite of Spring, (more…)
Video of the Day
Aram Khachaturian, Adagio from Spartacus
time: 8:41 / 15 words