Ballets russes

(Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller, USA, 2005)


This two-hour documentary by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller is a respectful and loving tribute to the Ballet Russe companies that emerged in the wake of Diaghilev’s death.

Above all, it is an extraordinary testament to the now elderly members of these troupes: astonishingly lively, intelligent and good-looking folk, judging by the candid interviews they give here.

What we hear about the intrigues that led to the split into two rival companies confirms that every dramatic cliché that goes into fictions like The Red Shoes (1948), The Company (2003) or Center Stage (2000) is, in fact, pretty true.

The film suffers from taking a strictly chronological approach to this history, since at a certain point decline and demise is inevitable. However, it boasts some terrific archival clips.

© Adrian Martin July 2005

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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