Ballets Russes DVD
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Directed by Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine
Produced in 2005
Main Language - ENGLISH
Countries & Regions - American film
The fascinating history of the famous Ballets Russes, the companies that reshaped the face of ballet dancing throughout the twentieth century, is explored in this highly moving documentary. Featuring interviews from the best dancers from the corps (all of whom are astonishingly lively and energetic, even in their 80s and 90s), this conveys true artistic passion more vividly than any recent documentary - these dancers earned very little money, and had to travel in often appalling conditions, but their love for ballet prevailed throughout.
One of the most charming aspects of Ballets Russes is how gossipy and candid the dancers are; the diva-ish behaviour of many of the grande dames of ballet is often referenced, and there is a bitchy dissection of Nina Novak, the ballerina who nabbed many juicy roles as she was the favourite of Sergei Denham. The talking heads are also charmingly self-aware - when one dancer is described as having a roving eye for the men, leading to a marriage that soon ended in divorce, she concedes the point with a shy grin. The darker side of the troupe history is also examined, such as the racist treatment Raven Wilkinson, the first black dancer in the corps, received from audiences in the Deep South in America, leading to her being excluded from the corps.
Perhaps the most unforgettable moment comes at the film's end - a last word from the late Dame Alicia Markova, in which she pays tribute to the troupe that made her a legend, followed by a montage of the dancers in action.
A truly affecting celebration of passion and talent, this delightful film will appeal to balletomanes and novices alike.
Alex Davidson on 11th August 2006
Author of 231 reviews
An enormously entertaining and gossipy portrait of the pioneering ballet artists - many of whom are now over 80 years old - who transformed the face of ballet. The passion these dancers still feel about their art is highly moving, and the film is never less than engrossing.
Publisher: Revolver Entertainment
Length: 118 mins
Cat No: REVD1920
Format: DVD Colour
- Deleted scenes.
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