It’s not often that a Frederick Wiseman film hits theatres, so it was a bit of a surprise to hear that his latest feature, La Danse, will be opening nationally in November! This is great news for those of us who missed the premiere screenings in Toronto and Venice. Also, a trailer has hit the net and looks to be both beautifully shot and curiously engaging. Even though my interest in ballet is practically non-existent, I trust in Wiseman to give me an accessible glimpse into what looks to be an extremely stressful creative environment that looks to be the perfect setting for some serious drama! Here’s the official synopsis from the press release:
Documentary master Frederick Wiseman’s 38th film in a career that has spanned more than 40 years, turns his attention to one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, the Paris Opera Ballet. The camera roams the vast Palais Garnier, an opulent 19th-century 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 and/or performing seven ballets, including: Genus by Wayne McGregor, Paquita by Pierre Lacotte, The Nutcracker by Rudolf Nureyev, Medea by Angelin Preljocaj, The House of Bernarda Alba by Mats Ek, Romeo and Juliet by Sasha Waltz and Orpheus and Eurydyce by 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.
LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET will have a 2-week engagement November 4-17 at Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. (W. of 6th Av.) with screenings daily at 1:15, 5:30 and 8:30, followed by a national roll out. Until then, you can head over to Zipporah Films to purchase some of Wiseman’s previous films.