La Danse -- Le Ballet de l'Opera de Paris (2009)
Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 50
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 6
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Average Rating: 8.5/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 3.5/5
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One of America's most respected documentary filmmakers, Frederick Wiseman, presents a glimpse into the inner workings of a respected ballet company in 2009's La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet. Wiseman and his camera crew traveled to France and watched from the sidelines as the company's choreographers and dancers (among them Emilie Cosette, Aurélie Dupont, Marie-Agnès Gillot, Benjamin Pech, Laëtitia Pujol, and Wilfried Romoli) worked out the details of the major pieces for their 2008 program. In
Nov 4, 2009 Wide
Jul 28, 2014
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La Danse is an example of cinema at its most musical, an awe-inspiring celebration of body, mind and movement.
What's missing is a sense of who the dancers are as people and it makes La Danse feel like it has missed some crucial steps.
It is an insider's look at the ballet, but one that only an insider will get the most out of.
A unique kind of magic: a documentary about the work in art that is itself a work of art.
La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, Frederick Wiseman's astoundingly beautiful documentary, has sumptuous delights to satisfy every balletomane.
Captures the fleeting beauty of ballet in dozens of miniature portraits, each quietly soaring. This movie just goes up there and stays there, and it's magical.
La danse is as good a way as any to discover the extraordinary combination of control, strength, precision, beauty and art that goes into creating ballet.
Yes it's long, but like the seven ballet productions it follows, La Danse prizes meticulous, exhaustive and downright entrancing precision...Indeed, La Danse is a film that makes you profoundly grateful documentaries exist.
I warn you, this film is long. Two hours and forty minutes worth. Dance gives it its constant pulse, while it builds, slowly. It will reward your patience, it may even make new converts to dance as an art form.
It's not just boring, though, it's heart-breaking. Even hardcore fans of ballet might find themselves checking their e-mails or nipping out for another bucket of popcorn.
Wiseman has captured the experience of wandering through a living gallery of performance, adroitly defining not only why ballet is one of the most beautiful of human endeavours, but also why it is the most impenetrable of all our art forms.
A mesmerising 160-minute portrait of ballet as art, ballet as business and, most importantly of all, ballet as a way of life.
While there's insight to be gained, this overly long and often mundane doco is unlikely to spark an interest in the general viewer.
[It reminds] us in our amateur celebrity talent show-dominated times of what genuine artistic talent looks like.
Even if you don't know your pliés from your jétes, it's impossible not to be impressed by the athleticism, agility and stamina on display, though the star of the show is the ballet's imperious artistic director, Brigitte Lefèvre.
It is interesting up to a point, unfortunately it's a point that is reached long before the lengthy running time is even halfway over.
Don't be put off by the film's 153-minute running time - La Danse is utterly engrossing and a must-see for ballet and documentary enthusiasts alike.
Beautifully shot and compelling in parts but a love of classical dance helps.
A completely addictive, seemingly relaxed and formless ramble through weeks of rehearsal and performance footage.
The climactic performance sequences are mesmerising, with John Davey's camera capturing the kinetic energy and athletic grace of the dancers with Degas-like reverence.
From wardrobe to makeup to the cafeteria (rather unappetizing fare for French cuisine), La Danse is a dream come true for dance-junkies whose fantasy is to sniff around backstage uninhibited. For the rest, resonant moments come at a snail's pace.
It's just endless performance footage, indulgently edited together, and it soons proves exhausting. Not "I just danced on the balls of my feet for three hours" exhausting, but exhausting nonetheless.
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