Frederick Wiseman | U.S.A., France | 2009 | PG
Frederick Wiseman reveals the on and off-stage dramas of one of the world’s great dance companies, in “one of the finest dance films ever made” (New York Times)
“Superb, engrossing…manages to dissect both an institution and an art form with extraordinary skill and beauty.” – Kate Stables, Sight and Sound
This transfixing portrait immerses us in action with much time devoted to the renowned Paris Opera’s practice studios, as dancers rehearse for the upcoming season. Their tireless perfecting of technique and astounding talent is captured in thrillingly sustained takes. Pirouettes and jetés fill the screen, before the dancers pause, catch their breath, and start again. We become the privileged spectators of company performances of Nureyev’s The Nutcracker and Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydice, among others. As Wiseman invites us to experience the inner workings of dance, he also reveals the mechanisms necessary to maintaining this grand institution – which require inspired creativity of another kind.
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