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Joan Harris, RIP


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Joan Harris, who doubled for Moira Shearer on the spiral staircase at the end of "The Red Shoes," died last year, aged 100.

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Shearer was absent when that scene was filmed and wearing the red shoes in her place was Joan Harris, the film’s ballet mistress who was also seen in several small roles. She recalled that filming took place at Pinewood Studios during the hot summer of 1947. “It was a great event, but I had to get into pointe shoes at 7.30 in the mornings, and with the heat from the Technicolor lighting cameras, we really suffered,” she recalled in 2001.

Related.

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A year later, Joan joined the St. James’s Ballet Company, directed by choreographer and dancer Alan Carter. Joan danced with Margot Fonteyn, Michael Somes and Beryl Grey.

 

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And as a teacher as well. There's also a bio, it seems. From the Times obit:

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Harris’s second marriage, in 1962, was to Arne Neergaard, a Norwegian stage director, and three years later she founded the National Ballet School of Norway. Commanding respect, and occasionally fear, she ran the school for 22 years and in 1988 received a Norwegian knighthood. She retired to Burton in Dorset. Neergaard died in 2008. In 2017 Monique Skavlan Sunderland, professor of contemporary dance at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, published Joan Harris: the Life of a Dancer.

 

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