The Red Shoes

 

50” x 33" x 2"  

photographic collage made from antique German cigarette cards and ink

 

Hans Christian Andersen’s story of a girl whose enchanted shoes will not allow her to stop dancing was made into a 1948 film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stared Moira Shearer as the doomed dancer and Leonide Massine as the shoemaker who creates The Red Shoes.

 

Once she had begun, her feet would not stop. It was as if the shoes had taken command of them ... her will was not her own. -H. C. Andersen

 

Cigarette cards were once collected for their images. These represent a complete set of famous dancers created by one of the more popular companies in pre-war Germany.  They include Nijinsky, Pavolva and Josephine Baker. The red is a vivid shellac based ink I applied by one movement of my finger like a dance gesture.