Current & Upcoming Films
LA DANSE - THE PARIS OPERA BALLET
"Documentary master Frederick Wiseman’s 38th film in a career that has spanned more than that number of years, turns his attention to one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, the Paris Opera Ballet. John Davey’s camera roams the vast Palais Garnier, an opulent 19th century pile of a building: from its crystal chandelier-laden corridors to its labyrinthine underground chambers, from its light-filled rehearsal studios to its luxurious theater replete with 2,200 scarlet velvet seats and Marc Chagall ceiling. LA DANSE devotes most of its time to watching impossibly beautiful young men and women — among them Nicolas Le Riche, Marie-Agnès Gillot, and Agnès Letestu — rehearsing the choreography of Mats Ek, Wayne McGregor, Rudolf Nureyev and Pina Bausch. For balletomanes and the curious alike, LA DANSE serves up a scrumptious meal of delectable moments, one more glorious than the next, made even more precious by their ephemeral nature." - Film Forum. DIRECTED & EDITED BY FREDERICK WISEMAN Directed & Edited by Frederick Wiseman. France/USA, 2009, In English and French with English Subtitles. Running time: 158 mins.
"LA DANSE, however, does more than offer intimate access to great dancers. It showcases performers like Nicolas Le Riche and Agnès Letestu and choreography by Rudolf Nureyev and Pina Bausch, but it also ventures beyond the stage and studios and into sewing rooms, cafeterias and administrative offices. Like most of Mr. Wiseman’s movies it is above all a portrait of an institution". - Dennis Lim, The New York Times
"Wiseman, with evident pleasure, turns back to the dancers, whom he photographs not in the manner of the commercial cinema, where bodies are broken up into threshing limbs, but in full frame, top to bottom, with space around them, so that we can see the incredible moves the dancers are capable of, along with, inevitably, their mistakes, missteps, and gradual improvements". - David Denby, The New Yorker
"In LA DANSE august documaker Frederick Wiseman turns his steady gaze on the titular Gallic dance company to create a sprightly look at an institution adapting to changing times". - Leslie Felperin, Variety