The Dance Sequence In The Red Shoes

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Federica Cernuto An Essay Dissecting the Dance Sequence in The Red Shoes. The scene that will be analyzed in this essay is the first performance of the ballet The Red Shoes, from the classic film of the same name by Michel Powell and Emeric Pressburger. After this scene, the film , that appeared to be moving towards a happy ending, changes direction. The audience becomes aware of Victoria becoming torn between dance and love, respectively represented by Boris Lermontov and Julian Craster. It also introduces a secondary feature of the film: the detachment from reality. In this scene the story The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen, is roughly revisited as a ballet. A woman, played in the ballet by Victoria, buys a pair of beautiful red shoes from a mysterious shoemaker, and wears them to go to the ball. As the ball ends, she is fatigued, but the red shoes are not and force her to continue dancing till her death. The scene starts off as a normal ballet, on a stage with a painted backdrop. As the scene progresses, the stage becomes bigger, until towards the end, the spatial dimension is completely warped by a sequence of surreal pated backgrounds. Space and setting are key elements in this scene, as Victoria's dance becomes more obsessive and frenzied. The space becomes bigger, until it appears infinite. This variation in space and reality symbolizes the beginning of the climax of the film, when all certainties of Victoria start to fall apart. Victoria's imminent decision becomes evident in this scene when the evil shoemaker appears to her first as Boris Lermontov and then as Julian Craster. Another element of this scene is the music, which pushes the film forward. Even though at first it goes along with the girl's excitement about her new pair of red shoes, and remains this way as she attends the ball, there are hints of the danger that these shoes

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