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DVD/Videos: Ballet Russes

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I just saw Ballet Russes at the Film Forum in New York. It is a wonderful documentary on the history of the Ballet Russes and contains interviews with the original dancers. So inspiring! This is the history of ballet in America. You can read about it at www.filmforum.org. If you have the opportunity to see it, don't miss it!

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Thanks for these links. I'm looking forward to seeing it and have already put it on my Netflix queue. I was lucky enough to have studied with Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, who I understand were part of the production and also have footage of them performing featured in the film.

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Yes, they are in it. The film will be even more special for you because you know them.


I can't wait to own my own copy. I feel it is an important piece of ballet history.

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I didn't see her featured, but I don't know of her so perhaps I simply didn't notice.


Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel attended the same screening I did. I thought it was wonderful to see them there. When people talk about today's performing style being less emotional and giving than in the past, I think that is partly a reflection of the way society has changed; it is not simply indifference on the part of the dancers. Things are more casual and less glamorous (though there still is a cult of Hollywood celebrity, we delight at seeing candid shots of stars in sweat pants, without makeup, to take them down a peg) and less nurturing of a romantic sensibility—we are constantly told to "live in the real world." We are also that much more distant from the folk dances and fairy tales that gave life to Petipa, Fokine and Massine's ballets.


I'm often sorry that today's wonderful dancers don't have a choreographer of genius to show them off. (I gathered from the movie and from memoirs I've read that Massine was a genius—but at creating dramatic, demi-caractere ballet spectacles rather than pure classical dance). Geniuses don't come around that often, but I hope I will have the chance to see one emerge.

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For those who live in Pittsburgh, PA the movie is being shown as part of the Three River's Film Festival. It will be shown at the Melwood Screening Room on Sunday Nov 13 @ 5:00 and on Monday Nov 14 @ 7:00.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw it last night at the Harvard Exit theater in Seattle, where it's playing for (I believe) a very short engagement. It is a wonderful film and I recommend it very highly. :)

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Agree with all. It is a wonderful film and besides being educational and inspiring, it is very entertaining and in many places downright funny!


I attended a screening at LACMA in LA where we were fortunate to have the film makers attend as well as George Zoritch, who flew in from Arizona for the evening. He spoke afterwards and was so charming and spirited.


There were also many Ballets Russes members in the audience including my dd's teacher who was a member of both Massine's and Colonel de Basil's troupes (and later NYCB.) So it was a very enthusiastic crowd.


The producers spoke of the fact that when they were approached with the idea of the Ballets Russes reunion in New Orleans, they were intrigued and agreed to go there to see if there was a movie to be made. But at that time, they really had no knowledge of ballet. Needless to say, they fell in love with it and everything changed.


I hope non-balletomanes will go see the film and join the club! (And bring on the Oscar nominations!)

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My daughter and I attended on a week night in New York. It was so good; we laugh and learn a lot. It gives such a good history and inspiration lesson. The audience love it. I said to my daughter look again, these will be your supporters in the future. It has been held over twice, so anyone in the New York area can still go see. I advise you to buy tickets online, because our first attempt on the weekend was sold out.


But make sure your computer has printer for the tickets.

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  • 1 month later...

I just returned from viewing Ballets Russes and thought it was wonderful! The depth of feeling shown by Nathalie Krasskova(?)'s port de bras- as an old woman (and a beautiful one), is amazing! It makes me wish I could have danced then. I'd like to see the movies the Ballets Russes made in Hollywood. The archival footage was a joy to see, as well as how involved these iconic dancers were or are still in today's dance world. It's true, once Terpischore claims you, it's like having the red shoes on- you can't NOT dance.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest pink tights

My dd, husband, and I recently saw Ballet Russes. It was fantastic. Even my non-ballet-loving husband LOVED it; in fact, he said it should be required viewing of all dance students. The interviews with the dancers are delightful and charming. Please, please, rush to the theater to see it!

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Rats, it was supposed to play in Baltimore TONIGHT (Friday 13th) but it got bumped from the local venue, and now "nobody knows anything about it." Grr. We were really looking forward to it ... for weeks. :)

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I took my two non-dancing children and my very ballet supportive husband to see it and we all enjoyed it. I was personally moved to tears. Be sure you all sign up for the DVD on the website. I think it will be a limited release item and may not be available in stores. Every teacher should have one to show to their students to help them appreciate the great heritage of this wonderful artform. Interesting how ballet was not originally danced to classical music but was more vaudeville in nature. Now I can appreciate it even more!



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