Nickelodeon; UCLA Film & Television Archive
Digital: Dora's Ballet Adventure, available at the iTunes store, $2.99
For pre-schoolers addicted to Dora the Explorer and pink tutus, there is "Dora's Ballet Adventure" app (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad). Dora narrates her interactive story as she tries to get her dance slippers delivered in time for the big performance (even parents can relate to that). The app features songs, animation, reading and Spanish-language teaching.
Nondigital: "The Red Shoes," http://www.criterion.com/films $31.96
Before "Black Swan," there was a dance film of another color, "The Red Shoes." It's too limiting, though, to put "The Red Shoes" in just one category. It is an all-round masterpiece. Produced, written and directed by Michael Powell and Emerich Pressburger, the 1948 film was a breakthrough for its design, cinematography, luscious Technicolor and the 20-minute, "Red Shoes" ballet. The movie's original negatives were repaired and restored in 2009, and this high-definition version is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Criterion Collection. Extras include a documentary on the making of the movie; a video interview with Powell's widow, Thelma Schoonmaker ( an Oscar-winning film editor); a collection of rare publicity stills; and more. And, of course, there are the unforgettable performances by Ballet Russes choreographer Léonide Massine and Moira Shearer — a ballerina and actress, who didn't have to be taught to do either.
-- Laura Bleiberg