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IMPRESSIONS: Matthew Bourne/New Adventures' "The Red Shoes" at New York City Center

November 3, 2017

Like Vicky, the heroine in The Red Shoes, sometimes, I’m just torn. While my review heads in one direction, the final conclusion makes a hard left turn.

 

Why, you ask?

 

Well, you’ll have to read to find out!

 

 

THREE MINUTES TO READ.

 

PREVIEW AND LINK AFTER PICTURE.

 

 Marcelo Gomes and Sara Mearns as Julian Craster and Vicky Page, respectively, at New York City Center. I've got things to say about their performances. Photo by Daniel Coston.

 

Before Black Swan, The Red Shoes depicted the destructive all-consuming nature of ballet. I didn’t see The Red Shoes (1948) until I was an adult. The do-or-die mentality that had embroidered my dancing experiences had long since frayed, yet the story still resonated. Ballet can exert an obsessive allure, convincing its devotees to sacrifice themselves on its tulle-covered altar in pursuit of a perfection that will never happen. It’s dark indeed outside the spotlight. 

 

Sir Matthew Bourne saw The Red Shoes as a teenager, and it left an indelible imprint. On his bucket list for twenty years, he brought the story to the stage in 2016. His production premiered to sold-out runs in London and recently landed at New York City Center. 

 

Bourne has earned acclaim for his populist renderings of classics that take risks (male swans, a vampire hero) but still flaunt big-theater spectacle. The Red Shoes is no exception, offering plenty of 1940s pizzazz that shows ticket buyers where their money went. 

 

Like most translations of words into movement, the story has been . . .

 

PLEASE VISIT THE DANCE ENTHUSIAST TO READ THE BALANCE OF MY REVIEW.

 

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