ETOILES: DANCERS OF THE PARIS OPERA BALLET celebrates the legacy of one of the best ballet companies in the world by weaving together rehearsals, tour snapshots and performances of ...
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ETOILES: DANCERS OF THE PARIS OPERA BALLET celebrates the legacy of one of the best ballet companies in the world by weaving together rehearsals, tour snapshots and performances of classical ballets such as Swan Lake and La Sylphide, as well as contemporary works such as Maurice Bejart's Ninth Symphony, Jiri Kylian's Doux Mensonge (Sweet Lies) and Pierre Darde's Orison.
Only in France will you have ballerinas who smoke. I came to this after and because of a similar dance documentary made similarly for French TeeVee but of classical Russian ballet corps.
This group mixes modern and classical. They are French in the old sense of balancing passion with institutionalized grace. These dancers could have been the stuff of a truly remarkable film. We simply needed more of them, more of them in motion and fewer words.
Making a film is a collaboration, a recipe from many larders. Here you have the performers are real performers seen mostly when not in their performance but the filmmaker's. This is rare. They are inherently full of focused life made physical made visible made accessible. We have a camera operator who is really quite in tune with what is going on. The eye moves, the camera is mobile. It has more than curiosity; it has composition out of minor discoveries; patterns not intended. I liked the camera. The editor understood this and while not as inspired accommodated the feel. It is offputting at first, then helps you find the groove.
The thing that destroys this is the director himself. He apparently did not understand what all the creative people around him were doing, so made some obviously bad decisions on what he decided to shoot and include. The overall shape of the thing is a mess. It moves from a backstage exploration to group biographies, to actually photographing some fantastic dance.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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