The Paris Opera Ballet is one of the world's great ballet companies. LA DANSE shows how a ballet company functions from administration, technical support, and classes, to the rehearsal and/or performance of seven balletsa Paquita by Pierre Lacotte, The Nutcracker by Rudolf Nureyev, Genus by Wayne McGregor, Medea by Angelin Preljocaj, The House of Bernarda Alba by Mats Ek, Romeo and Juliet by Sasha Waltz and Orpheus and Eurydyce by Pina Bausch. The film is a profile of all aspects of the ballet company, one of Franceas principal cultural institutions. The film immediately draws us into the rehearsals and shows preparations for performances of seven ballets, including The Nutcracker by Rudold Nureyev and Medea by Angelin Preljocaj, widely considered to be the most important contemporary choreographer working in ballet today. It is a testament to both Wisemanas love of dance and the respect of the Opera that he was allowed full access to film all facets of this revered institution from the administration offices to the costumersa department, illustrating the sometime tensions between a commercial sensibility and creative integrity.
Joan of Arc is born; Samuel Morse demonstrates the telegraph to the public; Commercial airplane completes first round-the-world flight; Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked; Dizzy Gillespie and Rudolf Nureyev die. (Jan. 6)
Documentary master Frederick Wiseman s 38th film in a career that has spanned more than that number of years, turns his attention to one of the world s greatest ballet companies, the Paris Opera Ballet. John Davey s camera roams the vast Palais Garnier, an opulent 19th century pile of a building: from its crystal chandelier-laden corridors to its labyrinthine underground chambers, from its light-filled rehearsal studios to its luxurious theater replete with 2,200 scarlet velvet seats and Marc Chagall ceiling. LA DANSE devotes most of its time to watching impossibly beautiful young men and women among them Nicolas Le Riche, Marie-Agn s Gillot, and Agn s Letestu rehearsing the choreography of Mats Ek, Wayne McGregor, Rudolf Nureyev and Pina Bausch. For balletomanes and the curious alike, La Danse serves up a scrumptious meal of delectable moments, one more glorious than the next, made even more precious by their ephemeral nature.
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In master storyteller Graeme Murphy's hands, the world's favourite ballet becomes a witty, dramatic and ultimately devastating story of love and betrayal. It's a familiar tale - a love triangle between a princess, her prince, and a woman with a prior claim on his heart. Murphy's choreography is at once a homage to the grandeur of 19th century classicism and an invigorating update that speaks compellingly to the audiences of today. At the centre of this brilliantly danced work is a trio of performances by principle artists Madeleine Eastoe, Robert Curran and Danielle Rowe, that has been acclaimed around Australia and the world. Tchaikovsky's peerless score, and the extraordinary settings and costumes of Kristian Fredrikson, finish off a production that according to Le Figaro "puts fire into the Lake."
In master storyteller Graeme Murphy's hands, the world's favourite ballet becomes a witty, dramatic and ultimately devastating story of love and betrayal - a love triangle between a princess, her prince, and a woman with a prior claim on his heart.
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