Ballets Russes (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ballets Russes (2005)



Critic Consensus: Even if you know little about ballet, there is much to love about this documentary's captivating archival footage and its interviews with elderly former dancers who have much to share.

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Movie Info

The revolutionary 20th-century dance troupe known as the Ballets Russes began as a group of Russian refugees, who never danced in Russia, and became not one but two rival dance troupes. 'Ballets Russes' begins with the company's Diaghilev-era in turn-of-the-century Paris -- when artists such as Nijinsky, Balanchine, Picasso, Miro, Matisse and Stravinsky united in an unparalleled collaboration. The film then explores the company's halcyon days of the 1930s and '40s, when the Ballets Russes toured America, astonishing audiences schooled in vaudeville with artistry never before seen, The company's demise came in 1950s and '60s when rising costs, rocketing egos, outside competition and internal mismanagement ultimately brought the revered Ballets Russes to its knees.

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Critic Reviews for Ballets Russes

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (23)

A casual interest in dance is all it takes to enjoy Ballets Russes, an enchanting new documentary about the famed French ballet company.

March 17, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

... a heartening affirmation of the spirit that helped many dancers to thrive in their heyday more than half a century ago and to survive as teachers, dance devotees and priceless raconteurs.

March 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Enchanting, edifying and exhilarating.

March 8, 2006

Capturing glimpses of those halcyon days, filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine offer the documentary Ballets Russes, riveting in rare footage and poignant interviews with some of the dancers who brought ballet to the hinterlands.

February 16, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Ballets Russes does an amazing job of unearthing footage of the famous ballet troupe from its beginnings in turn-of-the-century Paris through to its demise in the '60s.

January 5, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Vintage footage and modern interviews and staged 'events' tell the tale of this important piece of art history.

December 27, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ballets Russes


Fascinating documentary on the world's most famous ballet.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

a fascinating review of the dance troupe initially formed from russian refugees. their ballets from 1909 thru the 1940's were artistic fusions of scenery, costumes, sets, music, and dance! my personal favorites were those choreographed by leonide massine. this company was the first to introduce the symphony ballets. scores were commissoned from stravinsky, debussy, prokofiev, etc. sets were desinged by miro, picasso, dali, etc. the u.s. tours during wwii introduced ballet to major cities and small towns. the dancers are all very expressive, passionate, and individualistic. hopefully, these vibrant dancers will be able to pass on their genius to a new generation.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

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