Ballet: A few ballet poses towards the beginning, though the only bit of sustained dancing is actually a Scottish jig.Spook factor: The whole set-up in the mysterious room is fairly spooky, but to create added chills, throw in a clown (everybody hates a clown), the screeching sound of bagpipes warming up, and a ballet dancer.Ballet can produce terrific highs from the adrenalin rush that accompanies live performance, alongside the crushing lows that accompany any injury; put it all together and you have the perfect recipe for an eerie sense of heightened reality.
The Sugarplum Fairy is one of the first monsters Dana and Marty find as they descend in the elevator and start to understand what’s been happening, and her horrific appearance ramps up the tension and fear level leading into the movie’s big reveal, as the camera pulls back from hundreds and hundreds of trapped monsters even scarier than her.
All of which is a long way of saying – if you want to bring the creep factor, throw in a ballet dancer or two.
Here, we celebrate twelve of the spookiest stories from film and TV featuring ballet or ballet dancers.
And then the female dancers add to all this by putting their entire weight on the points of their toes, feet bruising and bleeding, nails cracking, and the male dancers add to all the jumping by lifting the women around and throwing them in the air and catching them again.
Dancers perform exhausting routines with legs and feet turned out to bizarre angles, arms held just to the point where they really start to hurt (that’s when you know you’re doing it right), backs bending to angles of 90° and more, limbs held stock still while balancing on their toes, in bodies mathematically maintained in a state that contains absolutely not an ounce of fat but can sustain two or three hours of jumping and running around.