Moira Shearer on ‘The Red Shoes’


A wonderful 1994 interview with Moira Shearer who played Vicky Page in the Red Shoes. If you ever for a moment thought that the real-life dancer (or the dance) had anything in common with the film, think again.

The Red Shoes is one of the best places to find  evidence of all the things the books tell you about the social construction of composers as male geniuses, and women as brainless bodies, so helpless in the presence of music that they dance themselves to death while the men carry on enjoying a taste of immortality without actually having to die just yet. There is an insidious misogynist violence about the film, insidious because the misogyny is carried out with the excuse that it’s all in the name of art, and art transcends life, so that’s all right then.

At one point, Lermontov silences Vicky with a swipe of the hand that looks like he’s slapping her, and then raises his index finger as if to put them on her lips to shut her up: “I will do the talking. YOU will do the dancing!”

Well it’s nice to know that Vicky/Moira Shearer  finally does get to do the talking, and what she’s got to say is far more interesting.

Incidentally, the film Black Tights that she mentions near the end—although she wasn’t happy with it—is online. The link might be removed, but here it is for now: 


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