Down 13,490 this week

Ballet (1995)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 36 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

Add a Plot


0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 13 titles
created 10 months ago
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 26 titles
created 7 months ago
list image
a list of 21 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Ballet" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Ballet (1995)

Ballet (1995) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ballet.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ballerina (TV Movie 2006)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Bertrand Normand
Stars: Uliana Lopatkina, Evguenya Obraztsova, Jayme Ratzer
At the Ballet (2014)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Darian Lane
Stars: Emma Fazzuoli
Zoo (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Blind (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Aspen (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Stars: John Denver
Primate (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This film casts a forensic observational eye over researchers working with primates. After a time watching it is possible to wonder which ones of these two sets of primates is the more strange.

Director: Frederick Wiseman
The Store (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at the employees and shoppers at the Neiman-Marcus department in Dallas, Texas during the holiday season.

Director: Frederick Wiseman
Canal Zone (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

On the one hand, you have the Panamians, but Frederick Wiseman shows them as the Americans see them: from a distance. They are poor and of no particular interest to them even if Panama is ... See full summary »

Director: Frederick Wiseman
Model (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Deaf (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Frederick Wiseman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Racetrack (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Frederick Wiseman


Credited cast:
Mitchell Bloom ...
Julio Bocca ...
Brenda-Li ...
Herself (as Brendali Staana)
Alessandra Ferri ...
Susan Jaffe ...
Amanda McKerrow ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film





Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 March 1995 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Human Comedy
18 February 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Along with Emile de Antonio, Frederick Wiseman is one of the godfathers of documentary cinema, having established the standard for what is now known as "observational" or "objective" documentary film-making. But unlike most documentary filmmakers, Wiseman's films all focus on institutions. His subjects are whole organisations, and his drama is derived from simply observing the various cogs and people at work within these societal machines. High schools, welfare offices, zoos, hospitals, ballet groups, army basic training camps, small towns, ICBM bases and business corporations are just some of the institutions he's tackled.

Like Robert Altman's "The Company", Frederick Wiseman's "Ballet" chronicles the workings of a prestigious ballet school, in this case the American Ballet Theatre. Wiseman's camera coolly observes the mechanics of this institution, focusing on the endless rehearsals, the banal business transactions, the complex choreography and daily performances of the dancers, instructors, businessmen, managers and set designers who make up the Theatre.

Wiseman and his tiny film-crew film these men and women at work and at play, following them into private meetings, lounges, changing rooms, rehearsal rooms, amusement parks and bars. The end result is a vast canvas, which when put together with all of Wiseman's other documentaries, creates a human panorama akin to Balzak. This is our post industrial world, the late 20th/early 21st century rendered, in all its expansiveness, in all its complexity, with humility by a little man and a camera.

The importance of Wiseman is that he dares to show, not only how much humanity has accomplished, but to what extent we've become slaves to the institutions, facilities, jobs and social structures that we inhabit. Whilst most films centre on a hero or heroes scheming to overcome some obstacle or complete some quest, Wiseman's world is one in which forces continuously exert pressure on the individual, shaping how he thinks and behaves. To Wiseman, society is a complex lattice of overlapping social structures and institutions and mankind is both the God who creates them, and the pawn who succumbs to the tides of their walls. The lithe ballet dancer is a thing of beauty, but it is encased within its own little ecosystem within an ecosystem. An ecosystem which the dancer – for all his mastery and individual bodily control – can not survive without.

And this juxtaposition (man as God/man as pawn) permeates Wiseman's entire filmography. Though touted as a kind of "anthropological" director or a film-maker concerned about "studying institutions", Wiseman's real aim is to highlight the follies and absurdity of human nature. Think the monkeys masturbating in "Primate", the city street-sweepers who sweep snow with futility during a blizzard because "that's their job", the suburban white kids being shown how to put a condom on a giant black dildo in "High School" or the doctors so desensitised to death that they joke about their vegetable patients. This is black comedy at its darkest, its most absurd, its most surreal.

8.9/10 – Wiseman's films need to be viewed in tandem before they start revealing their own patterns, their own rhymes and rhythms. Watch how "Ballet" mirrors "Le Dance", "Zoo" mirrors "Primate", "Basic Training" mirrors "Missile", "High School's 1 and 2" echo his work in "Juvenile Court" and "Public Housing". Likewise, observe how "Hospital" mirrors "Near Death" and "Deaf" mirrors "Blind". This is not a film-maker jumping randomly from institution to institution, this is a human portrait on a grand scale.

Worth one viewing. Like most of Wiseman's later work, this is too long, but bare in mind that these films are intended for university or school halls, and are often shown in 1 hour blocks.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who was it.....? tomrobb
Discuss Ballet (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page