Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet (2002)

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The Paris Opera Ballet has long been one of the most respected ballet companies in France, and many of the nation's most gifted dancers vie for the privilege of performing there. This documentary offers an intimate look at the men and women of the Paris Opera Ballet as they prepare and rehearse for performances of +Swan Lake and a demanding dance interpretation of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony; the tight-knit but deeply competitive world of ballet is introduced, where close friends often find themselves battling for the same role, and the lessons learned through time and experience often run counter to the gradual decay of the body's mechanisms through age. Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet was the first theatrical feature from director Nils Tavernier, the son of noted filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier.

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Critic Reviews for Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7)

A much better documentary -- more revealing, more emotional and more surprising -- than its pedestrian English title would have you believe.

Full Review… | May 8, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A thoughtful, reverent portrait of what is essentially a subculture, with its own rules regarding love and family, governance and hierarchy.

Full Review… | May 8, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

There are touching moments in Etoiles, but for the most part this is a dull, dour documentary on what ought to be a joyful or at least fascinating subject.

Full Review… | February 24, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

This is art paying homage to art.

January 10, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Muddled, simplistic and more than a little pretentious.

November 8, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic

Like leafing through an album of photos accompanied by the sketchiest of captions.

November 7, 2002
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet

½

Great documentary about the stars of the Paris Opera Ballet plus interviews and rehearsal footage with Jiri Kylian. This film does a great job of showing the immense dedication of these dancers in such a difficult, all-encompassing, and life-changing career choice.

Natalie Metzger
Natalie Metzger

Very nice footage and good insight to French dancers -- so far, most ballet documentaries I've come across focus on Russian dancers, and while I enjoy those, it's interesting to delve into another highly regarded school.

Mariana Arevalo
Mariana Arevalo

Why such a poor reception for a work I found so insanely beautiful and wonderful? Yes, it might have been less than 'insane' or fast-paced and people might have liked, but considering this is the PARIS Opera Ballet, I cannot expect anything else from such an amazing company who take pride in choosing only the best and dancing only the best. If you are one of those people who cannot sit down and admire something without it blasting in your face and ears, then Etoiles is most certainly NOT the film for you to watch, at all. It takes its time, but presents it in such an elegant and suitable matter you are completely engrossed in the world of ballet. It is more of a look inside the world of the Paris Opera Ballet. It is not explanatory about ballet in general, so if you know absolutely nothing about ballet or its dancers, you might be lost for some parts of the film. Etoiles provides what I feel is a rare view into the world of dancers we rarely get to see - rehearsals, how they feel about their profession, dance classes, etc. We see the creative process of a ballet from its very raw beginnings to the version we see on stage. Such notable figures in ballet such as Maurice Bejart make appearances in the film, and we get to see glimpses of his work(s) and other choreographers who call POB home. As mentioned before, Etoiles is not insanely glitzy. Well, at least, not in some people's standards. It is quiet, enjoyable, and relaxing. I don't know if this is to everyone's tastes or likings, but it was certainly to mine.

Yasmine Lawrence
Yasmine Lawrence

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