State Library of South Australia logo SA Film
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

The Red shoes
Title : The Red shoes The Red shoes
Add To My SA Memory
View flash video
Source : CEL home video
Date of creation : [1990?]
Format : Videorecording
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : The State Library has endeavoured to identify and contact copyright holders of material digitised for this website. Where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, the Library has decided in good faith to proceed with digitisation and publication. The State Library invites persons who believe they are copyright owners to contact Library staff to discuss usage of this item.
Description :

A young student becomes a great ballet star but commits suicide when torn between love and her career

The red shoes was written, directed and produced by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and released in 1948. Sir Robert Helpmann starred in the film and choreographed the 20-minute ballet sequence from which this segment is taken. The ballet sequence is based on the story by Hans Christian Anderson.

Dancer and actor Sir Robert Helpmann was born in Mt Gambier in 1909 and educated at Prince Alfred College. In 1926 he joined the touring dance company of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and began his professional dance career in 1927 in Sydney. Due to limited opportunities for serious dance in Australia in 1933 he went to London and joined the Vic-Wells Ballet (which later became Sadler's Wells) and later the Royal Ballet. Perhaps the highpoint of Helpmann's dance career was the Royal Ballet's tour of the USA in 1949, where he and Margot Fonteyn danced the leading roles in The Sleeping Beauty. As his dance career entered its twilight phase he developed his acting career including playing Hamlet at the Old Vic Theatre Company and appearing in other films such as The Tales of Hoffmann, The Quiller Memorandum, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Mango Tree.

From 1965 to 1974 Helpmann was co-artistic director of the Australian Ballet with Peggy van Praagh and in 1975 held the position on his own. He was named Australian of the Year in 1965 and was knighted in 1968. He died in Sydney in 1986.
Period : 1946-1979
Further reading :
Gibbon, Monk. The red shoes ballet; a critical study, 3rd ed. London : Saturn Press, 1948
Salter, Elizabeth. Helpmann : the authorised biography of Sir Robert Helpmann, CBE, Brighton [Eng.] : Angus and Robertson, 1978
Tales of Helpmann [videorecording] : a portrait of Sir Robert Helpmann, directed by Don Featherstone, Sydney? : Australian Film Finance Corporation : Don Featherstone Production, 1990
Internet links :
SA Memory : SA People : Robert Helpmann entry
Sir Robert Helpmann Australia Dancing
The Red shoes (1948 film)
The Red shoes (story by Hans Christian Anderson)



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on