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Ballets Russes2005

  • 4.7
Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine have fashioned a dazzling and entrancing ode to the revolutionary 20th-century dance troupes that performed under the Ballets Russes banner. BALLETS RUSSES maps the Diaghilev-era beginnings in turn-of-the-century Paris, when artists such as Nijinsky, Balanchine, Picasso, Matisse and Stravinsky united in an unparalleled collaboration, to the halcyon days in the 1930s and '40s, when the Ballets Russes astonished American audiences with artistry never before seen, to the 1950s and '60s when rising costs, rocketing egos, outside competition and internal mismanagement brought the last of the revered Ballets Russes companies to its knees. Directed with consummate invention and infused with juicy anecdotal interviews with many of the companies' glamorous stars, BALLETS RUSSES treats audiences to a rare glimpse of the remarkable dancers, choreographers, composers and designers who transformed the face of dance for generations to come.

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1 member likes this review

For those who remember the Ballets Russes or who love ballet, this is a great patchwork of interviews, narrative and documentary footage. The personalities of the greats are really strong, as you might imagine, and half the fun is how they are still big personalities now, and very much how the others describe them. If, like me, you're neither a big balletophile nor a person with a ballet watching background, you'll enjoy the sequences and interviews, but won't be able to tell anything or anyone apart! The ballets with costumes by Dali, Chagall and the like are worth the price of admission.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (7)

136503.small
top reviewer

For those who remember the Ballets Russes or who love ballet, this is a great patchwork of interviews, narrative and documentary footage. The personalities of the greats are really strong, as you might imagine, and half the fun is how they are still big personalities now, and very much how the others describe them. If, like me, you're neither a big balletophile nor a person with a ballet watching background, you'll enjoy the sequences and interviews, but won't be able to tell anything or anyone apart! The ballets with costumes by Dali, Chagall and the like are worth the price of admission.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

watching Ballets Russes is great experience. it's like a lush tapestry made of many many little threads of wee details skillfully interwoven, sometimes congruous, at others pretty disparate, involving quite a large number of people, all with singularly vivid and rather adorable personalities, each of them in possession of a great sense of humor about themselves and each other. wonderful, in short.

I often find myself complaining these days that nobody makes a nice 90 minute film anymore they just on and on but I was in a state of unadulterated bliss for these 119 minutes. though the undeniably fragmented - tending to jerky - archival footage is often in a pretty deteriorated state, a surprising lot of the great beauty of some of these dances still manages to come across. I was very pleasantly surprised at how tres tres fascinating Les (2) Ballets Russes prove to be, even after Diaghilev.

a sweetly sprawling doc!

1 member likes this review

Awesome, beautiful, joyful, and so very enjoyable to watch. I love, love seeing the Ballet stars in present day and in the past. So fun and touching!

1 member likes this review
130540.small
top reviewer

Bravo!!! Fascinating history, well told.

I loved it!

excellent

This was a fascinating window into the history of ballet in America. As a former student, I realized Ballet Russe informed much of my dance training and ideas about ballet. I also recognized, once again, George Balanchines contribution to anorexia, in this country and in the field of ballet, in particular. I will be watching it again, and I am so glad the film makers captured these important principle dancers on film, reminiscing, while they were still alive. The older film footage is just amazing. Anyone who enjoys ballet, has studied ballet, or even taken one dance class will like this.