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…)
Battle of the Magicians:
Baron Evola between the Dancer & the Druid
A Constant Reader has called my attention (keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!) to some critical commentary on the magical writings of Baron Evola by none other than John Michael Greer, who is Past Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America and current head of the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn. (more…)
“In those far-off days which we are pleased to call Pagan, every emotion had its corresponding movement. Soul, body, mind worked together in perfect harmony.”—Isadora Duncan
The life of Isadora Duncan was marked by opposition to every aspect of bourgeois modernity. (more…)