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Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet (2001) More at IMDbPro »Tout près des étoiles: Les danseurs de l'Opéra de Paris (original title)

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Release Date:
14 March 2001 (France) See more »
ETOILES: DANCERS OF THE PARIS OPERA BALLET celebrates the legacy of one of the best ballet companies in the world by weaving together rehearsals... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Passion and total commitment required in being a dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
Aurélie Dupont ... Les Étoiles
Laurent Hilaire ... Les Étoiles
Nicolas Le Riche ... Les Étoiles
Manuel Legris ... Les Étoiles
José Martinez ... Les Étoiles
Elisabeth Platel ... Les Étoiles
Jean-Guillaume Bart ... Les Premiers Danseurs
Marie-Agnès Gillot ... Les Premiers Danseurs
Clairemarie Osta ... Les Premiers Danseurs
Nathalie Riqué ... Les Premiers Danseurs
Wilfried Romoli ... Les Premiers Danseurs
Céline Talon ... Les Premiers Danseurs
Miteki Kudo ... Corps de Ballet (Sujet)
Sylvain Durand ... Les Pianistes de cours
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claude Bessy ... La Directrice de l'École de Danse
Maurice Béjart ... Choreographer

Fabrice Calmels ... Student at L'École de Danse l'Opéra de Paris
Jirí Kylian ... Choreographer
Brigitte Lefevre ... Directrice de la Danse

Directed by
Nils Tavernier 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Nils Tavernier 

Produced by
Agathe Berman .... executive producer
Frédéric Bourboulon .... producer
Agnès Le Pont .... producer
Cinematography by
Dominique Le Rigoleur 
Nils Tavernier 
Film Editing by
Florence Ricard 
Production Management
Pierre Carrique .... production manager
Abraham Goldblat .... post-production manager
Sound Department
Christian Fontaine .... sound mixer
Denis Martin .... sound
Hamid Naghibi .... sound mixer
Xavier Piroëlle .... sound (as Xavier Pirroëlle)
Denis Tribalat .... sound (as Denis Triballat)
Stéphane Venet .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Luc Pallet .... first assistant camera
Stéphane Patti .... assistant camera
Eric Philbert .... assistant camera
Emmanuel Pineau .... assistant camera
Vincent Tessier .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Frédéric Casnin .... color timer
Christine Maffre .... assistant editor
Music Department
Collegium Instrumental de Brugges .... orchestra
Sylvain Durand .... composer: additional music "Celtic Folk" and "Adage"
Sylvain Durand .... musician: piano for "Les choses de la vie", "Don Quichotte", "Celtic Falk" and "Adage"
Richard Rodgers .... composer: song "My Funny Valentine"
Other crew
George Balanchine .... choreographer: ballet "Apollon Musagète"
Dominique Baron .... production administrator
Gilles Baron .... choreographer: ballet
Sandrine Brauer .... clearances
Maurice Béjart .... choreographer: ballet "La IXème Symphonie"
Florence Dard .... staff: Little Bear
Pierre Darde .... choreographer: ballet "Orison"
Jirí Kylian .... choreographer: ballet "Doux Mensonges"
Pierre Lacotte .... choreographer: "La Syphide"
Agnès Le Pont .... staff: Little Bear
Veronique Marty .... production assistant
Rudolf Nureyev .... choreographer: ballet "Le Lac des Cygnes" (as Rudolf Noureev)
Timothée Pamart .... staff: Little Bear
Hugues R. Gall .... thanks: Directeur de l'Opéra National de Paris
Muriel Hallé .... thanks: Délégués du ballet
Brigitte Lefevre .... thanks: Directrice de la Danse
Laurent Queval .... thanks: Délégués du ballet

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tout près des étoiles: Les danseurs de l'Opéra de Paris" - France (original title)
See more »
100 min
Sound Mix:
France:U | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud)

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Passion and total commitment required in being a dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet, 10 February 2004
Author: Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) from sf, usa

There were quite a number of documentaries I saw in 2003, "Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet" (aka "Tout près des étoiles") is one of the unforgettable ones. A documentary dedicated to the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet is a labor of love from filmmaker Nils Tavernier, who followed the company for 3 months in 1999, including their Tokyo performances. We were given an insider's look of what goes on behind the curtains, at rehearsals, studio practices, students at the Nanterre school, and many insightful interviews. It was fascinating listening to the responses and comments just from the casual, on the spot interviews, be it one on one or in groups. The subtitles by Lenny Borger and Cynthia Schoch facilitated remarkable understanding of the world of these ballet dancers.

A woman dancer: "The word love is not strong enough for dancing. Dance is more than love. It is something that devours you." A young male dancer: "The stage is a drug. Every time (even though I'm not happy with how I danced, and have fear before going on stage)…I wanted to go back on." A dance teacher: "The weeks and months…all the effort of many rehearsals for a few minutes on stage. It's insane. You can't put a prize on it."

"What rank are you?" Nils asked. "Quadrille. The lowest rank. But I dance a lot," a young ballerina happily replied while doing her makeup. To another dancer: "Which ballet are you in?" "I'm an understudy. I'm not dancing. I'm used to that," the lanky dancer walked away with a smile. "Yes, there's pain," a dancer nursing her foot said, "you forget a lot of things on stage. It [the pain] goes away."

These are just a handful of sample exchanges/scenes as we get to watch close to the stars (étoiles), be it premier danseur or danseuse, young quadrilles or 12 and 14 year old dance students, dance teachers who gave up their ballet shoes, or mother (father) dancers who wanted a child and family instead of a star career, and a prima ballerina's last performance as she retires at 40 ("men retire at 45"). It's 1 hr. 36 mins. well spent, especially for those who appreciate the ballet. What a compact yet comprehensive look into the everyday (stage) life of dancers at the Paris Opera Ballet company. There are excerpts from about seven ballet performances. The ballet music and selective film score match the thoughtfully edited together documentary, which is engrossing drama as good as any mainstream movie. "Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet" is available on DVD.

Other memorable documentaries: Mark Moskowitz's "Stone Reader" (intriguing journal in locating an author of a book), Jeffrey Blitz's "Spellbound" (following eight 1999 National Spelling Bee teenage contestants), and Dana Brown's "Step Into Liquid" (surfing is another dedicated lifelong sport/adventure).

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