La Danse -- Le Ballet de l'Opera de Paris

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Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

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 addition to the dancers honing their craft, Wiseman trains his eye on the people backstage who help make the ballet a reality, from the artistic directors and financiers who raise the funds to pay for the production to the stage crew who build the sets and the cleaning crew who sweep up after the show. La Danse was Wiseman's second film about classical dance, after 1995's Ballet (which documented a year in the life of the American Ballet Theater); it received its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.


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Critic Reviews for La Danse -- Le Ballet de l'Opera de Paris

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (20)

  • 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.

    Oct 21, 2010 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Long, graceful, quietly exhilarating.

    Oct 20, 2010 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Apr 23, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • La Danse is an example of cinema at its most musical, an awe-inspiring celebration of body, mind and movement.

    Apr 22, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Apr 2, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It is an insider's look at the ballet, but one that only an insider will get the most out of.

    Jan 29, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La Danse -- Le Ballet de l'Opera de Paris

Showed up in a very low key way on PBS without much of a word or wimper but I was quite happy to catch it even though the broadcast quality was poor. I'm afraid that I wouldn't likely be found at a performance of the Paris Opera but there is something intriguing about seeing the details of the company from a fly's point of view. The directors avoided dull interviewers and simply let those involved tell their story through their activities ranging from rehearsals to fundraisers, corporate affairs and even union meetings.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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