Casper

Ballets Russes - the Film

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Dear Friend of Dance:

I’m enclosing information about an entrancing ode to the revolutionary twentieth-century dance troupes known collectively as the BALLETS RUSSES, which was shown as part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. BALLETS RUSSES opens on October 26 for an exclusive run at Film Forum via Zeitgeist Films with many more play dates to be announced.

Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller map the company’s Diaghilev-era beginnings in turn-of-the-century Paris – when artists such as Nijinsky, Balanchine, Picasso, Miro, Matisse, and Stravinsky united in an unparalleled collaboration – to its halcyon days of the 1930s and 40s, when the Ballets Russes toured America, astonishing audiences with never-before-seen artistry. Rare performances, home movies, letters and diaries are intercut with intimate anecdotal interviews with former Ballets Russes stars and bring to life the extraordinary journey of the company and the individuals who danced in it.

Variety calls BALLETS RUSSES “An ebullient journey! Enormously absorbing! Elegant and touching!”

In an effort to attract grassroots support for this marvelous film, Zeitgeist Films is enlisting the help of organizations such as yours to ‘get the word out’ via newsletter, Web site or distribution of postcards.

If you have a newsletter, we would appreciate an announcement of the opening of BALLETS RUSSES. Or if you have a Web site, we would encourage a link to www.BalletsRusses.com and/or a posting of the date of our theatrical release. Please feel free to check our Website (www.zeitgeistfilms.com) where a synopsis, a trailer and theatre information for BALLETS RUSSES are available. Please contact me if a link to your site is possible. We are also looking for distribution points for materials. If your organization would like postcards to distribute, to enclose in a mailing or just to have at your offices, please give me a call. We also have beautiful full-sized posters.

Group Sales information is also available by contacting me at the number below.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Casper de Boer

Zeitgeist Films Ltd.

247 Centre Street, 2nd floor

New York, NY 10013

212 274-1989 ext.13 tel

212 274-1644 fax

balletsrusses@casperdeboer.com

Check our Web site: www.zeitgeistfilms.com

Edited by Casper

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Thank you so much for this post. I have been looking forward to this film ever since I was aware of the reunion held a few years ago. I can't wait to see it! I am just so excited and grateful that a record of this extraordinary company of artists has finally come to life! :yahoo:

P.S. I just went to the filmmaker's website and downloaded the press kit to see what was there. There are many photos of the dancers who were interviewed (including my teacher, Alan Howard) as they looked in their dancing days and recently, for the film, I assume. I just loved seeing what these fabulous dancers looked like in recent times...WOW...biographies, too! Lots of information...

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Thank you for this news. This & the concurrent ABT run at City Center make a trip to NYC in late Oct/early Nov very worthwhile. It's on my calendar.

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I don't see the trailer for this listed in the trailers section - have I missed it?

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Hi gracey...I couldn't find it either...I think I'll check back in a few days and see if it is available then...Gina

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You are right, the website is currently being updated.

The trailer will be up soon!

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W-0-W !!! One of the last voices you hear is a elderly woman talking about the experience of dancing with the Ballet Russe: "I wouldn't have missed it for the life of me." Absolutely.

I hope it gets good distribution. We have a few theaters down here who might (might) try it. :huh:

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The lovely woman towards the end of the trailer is Dame Alicia Markova (with the beautiful short, coifed silver hair)....

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....and the ballerina with the long silver hair is Irina Baronova....

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OH MY GOODNESS!!!! What a spectacular documentary this appears to be. The trailer is full of gems (Sleeping Beauty, Boutique Fantasque, Swan Lake, etc.). To think that the films whence come all those clips exist! I am positively foaming at the mouth right now.

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Hello Everybody!

I attended Film Forum in New York City over the weekend and saw a preview for this film during the comming attractions. Immediatly, I ran home and checked the internet for all information I could find about this stunning looking film! What does everyone know about this film so far? From the looks of the trailer there is going to be a ton of old footage of them dancing?

There is also a new website online devoted solely to the film http://www.balletsrusses.com. I nerely teared up during the trailer while watching these remarkable artists and athletes resurface on screen- have they ever been topped??? I'm nerely foaming at the mouth with the prospect of being able to see this in just a few short weeks- Anyone planning on attending opening night in New York City???

Keep on Dancing,

Kevin

Editing to note: Kevin is an intern at Zeitgeist Films.

Edited by carbro

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Welcome to Ballet Talk, Kevin!

We're all waiting for this one -- and the DVD -- with bated breath.

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Apologies for not replying earlier... I went to one of the screening at the Toronto Film Festival a few weeks ago. The film is stunning!! The footage is priceless, the interviews are insightful, and the way the documentary was put together nicely captured the spirit of the Ballets Russes. The resilience and dedication of these artists is so moving.

The icing on the cake was staying in the theatre after the screening for a Q & A session with the directors and FREDDIE FRANKLIN! They all got a long and well-deserved standing ovation:D

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I noticed that if you click on the link posted by kurokevin and pass your mouse over the headshots, you get before-and-later. Time has been exceedingly kind to many of these dancers.

I will see this film -- at least once. Opening night, if possible. I have to sit down with a calendar.

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Time has been exceedingly kind to many of these dancers.

No kidding -- when I'm 80, I want to look like Maria Tallchief. (I'd take looking like Maria Tallchief now...)

Here's the link to the bios page, which also shows the side-by-side pictures:

http://www.gellergoldfine.com/russes_dancers.html

Paquita -- what a privilege to have seen Franklin and the directors. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

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And here's the current schedule:

Playdates

Film Forum New York NY - Oct 26-Nov 8, 2005

Embarcadero Center San Francisco CA - Opens Nov 4

Shattuck Cinemas Berkeley CA - Opens Nov 11

E Street Cinema Washington DC - Opens Nov 11

Rafael Film Center San Rafael CA - Opens Nov 11

Camera Cinemas 7 San Jose CA - Opens Nov 11

Laemmle Music Hall Theatre Beverly Hills CA - Opens Nov 11

Edwards South Coast Village Santa Ana CA - Opens Nov 11

Century Centre Cinema Chicago IL - Opens Nov 18

Renaissance Place Cinema Highland Park IL - Opens Nov 18

Bethesda Row Cinema Bethesda MD - Opens Nov 18

Kendall Square Cinema Boston MA - Opens Nov 18

Harvard Exit Theatre Seattle WA - Opens Nov 18

Museum of Art Oklahoma City OK - Nov 25-27

Plaza de Oro Theatre Santa Barbara CA - Opens Dec 2

Broadway Center Cinemas Salt Lake City UT - Opens Dec 2

Tivoli Theatre St. Louis MO - Opens Jan 27, 2006

Midtown Art Cinema Atlanta GA - Opens Jan 27

Jacob Burns Film Center Pleasantville NY - Feb 3-9

Ken Cinema San Diego CA - Opens Feb 17

with many more playdates to be announced

http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/film.php?dir...mode=#playdates

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Frederic Franklin, among others, will appear live at the Film Forum:

http://www.filmforum.org/films/ballets.html

IN-PERSON EVENTS:

Q&A with filmmakers DAN GELLER and DAYNA GOLDFINE

plus Ballet Russe dancer FREDERIC FRANKLIN!

Wednesday, October 26, 7:15 show

Q&A with filmmakers DAN GELLER and DAYNA GOLDFINE!

Friday, October 28, 7:15 show

Q&A with New York Times Dance Critic*JACK ANDERSON

Wednesday, November 2, 7:15 show

Artforum has a long review of the film:

http://www.artforum.com/inprint/id=9494

A short excerpt:

What turns out to be most compelling here, however, is how these senescent ballerinas and ballerinos achieve a poignant ecstasy as they recall the exploits of their youth. They are all in astonishingly good shape; they invested everything in their bodies, and their bodies have returned the compliment. They demonstrate dance steps, movements, gestures, and as they do so, they seem suffused with some whisper of what once made them famous. Their minds and hearts have fared well, too. They thrill to memories of how each step was best executed, of who should never have been cast in which roles, and of who captured the hearts of which audiences. "Suddenly," says nonegenarian Dame Alicia Markova, "it's like something opens, and I see everything as it happened then."

The latest posting of play dates:

Film Forum New York NY - Oct 26-Nov 8, 2005

Embarcadero Center San Francisco CA - Opens Nov 4

Shattuck Cinemas Berkeley CA - Opens Nov 11

E Street Cinema Washington DC - Opens Nov 11

Rafael Film Center San Rafael CA - Opens Nov 11

Camera Cinemas 7 San Jose CA - Opens Nov 11

Laemmle Music Hall Theatre Beverly Hills CA - Opens Nov 11

Edwards South Coast Village Santa Ana CA - Opens Nov 11

Century Centre Cinema Chicago IL - Opens Nov 18

Renaissance Place Cinema Highland Park IL - Opens Nov 18

Bethesda Row Cinema Bethesda MD - Opens Nov 18

Kendall Square Cinema Boston MA - Opens Nov 18

Harvard Exit Theatre Seattle WA - Opens Nov 18

Embassy Cinemas Waltham MA - Opens November 25

Museum of Art Oklahoma City OK - Nov 25-27

Plaza de Oro Theatre Santa Barbara CA - Opens Dec 2

Broadway Center Cinemas Salt Lake City UT - Opens Dec 2

Tivoli Theatre St. Louis MO - Opens Jan 27, 2006

Midtown Art Cinema Atlanta GA - Opens Jan 27

Jacob Burns Film Center Pleasantville NY - Feb 3-9

Ken Cinema San Diego CA - Opens Feb 17

Ritz Theatre Philadelphia PA - Jan 27, 2006

with many more playdates to be announced

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I wish someone would do an in-depth documentary on the Imperial Ballet during Petipa's reign. Or has someone?

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Hi everyone -- here's the review in today's NY Times. It's a good one. I really look forward to seeing the film this weekend.

But the real life force pulsing through "Ballets Russes" - what makes it a delight even for a dance philistine like this critic - belongs to the veterans of the two companies. Many of these dancers were well into their 80's when they were interviewed for the movie, and several have since died, but they remained spirited and active to the end. (Many still teach dance, and a few still dance onstage.) They speak in a variety of accents, Old World and New. . . .

Hearing them reminisce, you can infer that their lives were not always easy, but toughness and resiliency are as much a part of their artistic identities as delicacy and grace.

Link to the full review: http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=319400

Edited by carbro

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Thanks, ViolinConcerto!

dirac has posted links (in the Links forum) to this and several other reviews.

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I absolutely loved this film......what a joy! A great job in documenting the impact of the Ballets Russes on our American culture and ballet in general. Wow! I want this dvd when it comes out. I also think that today's young dancers should see this film. The filmmakers captured an incredible spirit of the ballet during this period and a wonderful view of the lives of those who were a part of this historic heritage. Loved Freddie Franklin's stories, Mia's firery personality..... and the closing with Markova was touching. Just to mention a few moments. There were so many. An outstanding film. I will go back again.........

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It left me misty-eyed---it's all gone with the wind...

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