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Ballerina Wears Knife Shoes to Perform En Pointe

Ballerinas are often associated with beauty, grace, and elegant human forms. In his video En Puntas (‘On Points’), however, artist Javier Perez has managed to preserve all of these elements while also portraying the dark intensity, dedication and even violence that this graceful art form can represent.

En Puntas features ballerina Amelie Segarra dancing the en pointe ballet technique (in which the performer typically dances on the points of their toes) on the tips of huge, menacing kitchen knives in an empty, darkened theater. She struggles to maintain the grace that we typically expect of ballerinas as the knives scrape and stab ever more violently at the grand piano she’s standing on. Her composure, however, is periodically broken as she lets out a scream of frustration at the intense difficulty of her performance.

Coupled with the dark and empty theater she is performing in, the video makes for anything but light viewing. The intensity, frustration and violence of her performance (literally) on the razor’s edge are a testament to the intense dedication and sometimes physical suffering required of ballet performers.

Website: | via: (myampgoesto11, mymodernmet)

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What do you think?

  • Nancy Allen Cummings

    Not too sure if I really want to see more. However, I LOVE an artist who takes risks.

    • Anonymous

      If by “risks” you mean “indulges in pretentious nonsense and tries to pass it off as profound when it’s nothing more than the egotistical output of a douchebag,” then yes, this is certainly risky.

      • Anon

        I won’t call it pretentious nonsense or trying to to pass it as profound. The performance itself was to shows the pain and dedication a ballerina has to go through to perform en pointe, by making a talented ballerina go through the whole process again by dancing with knives in place. I can’t call their dedication a egotistical output of a douchebag. It shows you the pain, yes exaggerated, but also drives the message through. just imagine dancing on your toes alone. Let alone a knife.

        • Nancy Allen Cummings

          Yes, I totally agree. SHe DID demonstrate her ability.

      • Nancy Allen Cummings

        By risk, I mean an artist who goes through great lengths (or torture) to produce something unique that demonstrates his or her ability and creativity. In this case, this ballerina did something risky, unique and it totally demonstrated her ability. Egotistical output? Douche bag? Your terminology is more egotistical and more like a douche bag than hers. I do not mean to be derogatory but, really, have you tried point? Have you seen what these women go through to create something graceful and beautiful?

        • Anonymous

          It’s not that risky, she wasn’t going to fall because she’s being held up by wires or something.

          • David Michael LePine

            Oh right and you can see this at all times huh?? wow you’re amazing..super human

      • Helene

        Your choice of words makes you look like the d – bag, and to dance en pointe is so graceful, and beautiful. Years of work, I admire dancers very much. What have you done to be so rude to her? Unless you have been in her shoes (literally) then why say anything at all?

      • Jessica

        You actually sound like the pretentious douchebag. I think you just like reading your own words.

      • LookAtThisIdiot

        Hey look everybody, another clown who is so insipidly self-absorbed that they hate art!

      • LookAtThisIdiot

        Also I bet you think Harry Potter is art.

  • YellowFellow

    That was scary…

  • dean

    Is anyone else cringing over that poor piano???

  • Anonymous

    Obviously she was not standing on the knives, she was being held up by the rope or a harness. We don’t see a full body shot of her moving on the knives, only above the waist shots cuts with close ups of the feet. She would have fallen if she was truly balancing on the knife/shoes.

  • Jim Gott

    This is sick and disgusting, not to mention dangerous for the dancer. It’s perverted. Does the film maker think this is art? This is vile!

    • Nate

      ‘Sick and disgusting’ is quite an overstatement. Sure, it’s perverted. It’s obviously meant to be uncomfortable for the viewer…you just don’t get it.

    • LookAtThisIdiot

      Moronic old baby boomer thinks something artistic that they don’t understand is perverted and vile.

      What a shock.

      • Jim Gott

        Excuse me, but I am a ballet employee myself, so I quite understand ballet. This is no more artistic than smashing a guitar or violin on stage. Defiling a piano in this way is indeed vile. Do not call me a moron because I have a different view than you. The fact that I don’t like it does not mean I don’t understand it. How dare you make that assumption. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and your rude comment is just as offensive as this performance piece.

      • Jim Gott

        It’s easy to take pot shots at someone when you have an alias like “LookAtThisIdiot.” You don’t even have the courage to put your real name out there. Look, I’m entitled to my opinion. Know why? Because FUCK YOU, that’s why.

        • greymeh

          Google “internet troll”

        • Megan Anderson

          you sir have earned my respect. As much as I cringed over the piano as well, the movements showed by the dancer give us the feeling of struggle and commitment to the dance. You would have to be pretty dedicated to do this in my opinion

  • Nicole

    Honestly if he just wanted to demonstrate dedication pain and all that she could have simply done point on the stage. Seriously I doubt did the whole thing and never fell off the piano. Saying nothing against dancer ability but think she was wearing some kind of safety harness that’s why at every part looks like she was about to fall it cuts scene. And also you do see full body at very end but she is standing there in a pose.

    • Chris

      When you’re watching a film do you say “well, they obviously had someone write a script for them, and I don’t think that’s a real house, and they *clearly* used a stunt man for that bit…” ?

      • Tim McCormack

        The question is whether the frame requests us to suspend our disbelief. I do not believe this article’s framing does so, so it is different from a movie.

  • arlee

    she’s an idiot who jeopardizes her career with one mistep

  • JohnSMoore

    Can someone explain to me why this had to be made on a piano??

    • Anonymous

      I think it might have something to do with the piano’s history as an instrument of the royalty, gentry, and/or aristocracy. The history of the piano is that it is inaccessible to the common people and thus tied to power and status. This video links it with the history of ballet as a form of elaborate entertainment for royalty (i.e. the very, very rich). Does knowing that bring anything more to the video, for you?

  • Pete

    I have no opinion positive or negative as to the message or motives of the dancer. I’d just like to point out that the statement being made here was done on top of a beautiful piece of musical equipment that took months upon months to build, typically by a master craftsman as pianos are not usually mass produced, especially grand pianos. as a musician myself its painful to see any instrument defaced for the mere purpose of conveying a point

    • zach

      Do we know if it was built for this purpose, or if it was a working full piano or a show piece?

    • Micklemme

      You could very easily replace “lid” of the piano with a painted piece of plywood for the video and put the real lid back afterwards. As far as the content of the video goes, it was kind of dark, and did make me a bit uncomfortable – I almost didn’t finish watching it – but I wouldn’t classify it as sick or disgusting, just a bit weird and not really my taste. Art has many different forms, and just because I don’t like it doesn’t make it perverted or wrong.

  • Dingus

    I didn’t believe the frustration for one moment. She has incredible control, and was obviously faking the anger. Meh.

  • Anonymous

    And the point of this was……Okay, I got more- she gave a sharp performance!
    I’m here all week! Try the roast beef! Tip your Waitress! In all seriousness, this was so hard to watch. I squirmed my way through it hoping this wouldn’t turn into a snuff film. That was so dangerous! Somewhere, the makers at Steinway are wailing and gnashing their teeth for that piano!

  • Ashley

    Is it bad I was hoping she’d fall off the piano and break her neck or something tragic, resulting in death at the end???

  • Lino Fernandez

    wake up, its every girls little dream to grow up and become the fidelity of this pointillist fame. wound around a music box the epidemic of “perfection”. A little girls dream thrown in porcelain and hardened in the pinkish white glaze of fire. What once was a booshwah game of prostitution; now only a battle against age and fidelity. Here we are left with the dexterity of a graphed marked into the face of a grand piano. One could assume a mere hanging off the noose of this wretched and beautiful profession.

  • Girllietopsy

    i feel sad for the piano :’(

  • Nicetrytho

    If she did dance on knives, it wouldve chopped right through through the piano, especially wiith all the jumping she did (but this is not the main point) The concept is quite…almost too glaringly obvious and I really cringed from the screaming in the end. Not because I thought she was in extreme pain, but rather because I feel the pain should be portrayed in a more silent manner. Just like how ballerinas have to clench their teeth and fight through their pain and struggles….

  • Megan Anderson

    Woahhh, just to dance en pointe is pretty dedicating in itself. Having knives strapped on her shoes makes it more noticeable in how dedicated she is to the dance. Even though she could not properly dance, she still showed she can still stand and do simple movements. When she was literally on the edge of the piano I was mentally freaking out!

  • Deuch.

    all this bullshit and not 1 person has mentioned the camel toe, now that is art in itself.