Ballerina The Movie
Posted 01 December 2005 - 10:10 PM
A documentary of sorts in Russian with French subtitles, but also in an international edition (?), available in DVD among other things.
It features Uliana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Alina Somova and Yevgeny Obraztsova.
This information is from an article that seems to be a press release from the company that is making the movie.
The article is in French.
I will make an attempt at translating it after I get some sleep.
If someone else wants to give it a try before then, it can be found at...
Posted 02 December 2005 - 03:04 AM
Posted 02 December 2005 - 08:12 AM
I read the company's description of the film's rationale
and it seems to be a film to look forward to.
The filmmaker is described as a balletomane and his choices of
embodiments of the "ballerina" [all Mariinsky] are interesting. For those who are described as having reached the pinnacle, Lopatkina, Vishneva, and Zakharova, there'd be few arguments.
For those 'on the way', the choices are intriguing: Obratzsova (I'm a huge fan) and Somova.
Posted 02 December 2005 - 12:13 PM
In regard to the movie there are several obvious questions. Do I want to see this movie? Will it be a DVD or something else that I can see at home? When will it be available? Will there be an edition with English subtitles? How do I get it?
In regard to the second question, if the DVD is issued in the French system, I have found that it should be viewable on your computer, which can be hooked up to your TV.
An "international version" might be viewable anywhere and have English subtitles. I will try to follow the news and relay any answers to the other questions.
"Do I want to see this Video?" From what the announcement says this is a definite Yes!
I will try to paraphrase much of this article, as it is informative and makes for very pleasant reading. For those of you who speak French, if my translation is off, please feel free to make corrections.
To begin with the movie is being made for French television by a French director, Bertrand Normand, who as chiapuris mentioned, is a lover of ballet. The movie will be 90 minutes long.
The article starts by saying that the ballerina fascinates. She practices an art that is becoming rare. (I'm not so sure about this.) There is however a land where this art is not becoming rare but in fact is flourishing. That land is Russia. Land of the research for the absolute(?). Land of the cult of beauty, of immensity and of nostalgia.
It is also a land of forgotten femininity.
Russia is "par excellence" the land of the ballerina.
(I (Buddy) was in St. Petersburg for the first time last March to see the Mariinsky Festival. I saw about half. It was excellent! While there I went to the Hermitage Art Museum (it's wonderful) several times. There were large groups of school children there. Among the teens and pre-teens, they often carried themselves and in fact looked like young ballet dancers. Boys and girls. It was different from what I'm used to seeing and was a very enjoyable sight.)
Back to the article. Bertrand Normand (director) is a lover of ballet, who for a long time has been impressed by the "singularity" of performing Russian ballerinas. He departed for St. Petetersburg to discover what makes the "unicite"(?) of these dancers and to engage in an immense film project. Through his personal research he has developed an approach to perceiving ballet, it's universe and it's power to move audiences, which he now wants to convey to the general public.
There's much more to this article that I would like to continue relating, maybe later today.
Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:23 PM
Buddy, on Dec 2 2005, 04:13 PM, said:
This is an intriguing comment by the 'filmstamarin' writer. I've heard it said by many Westerners in Russia (especially American men) but have never seen it so bluntly stated. Do others agree with this statement?
Posted 02 December 2005 - 02:27 PM
Natalia, on Dec 2 2005, 04:23 PM, said:
Natalia, you obviously know Russia very well and I have only been there for a week, but I do have some opinions. I may be wrong, but from observing the audiences in the 50's and 60's ballet videos , and these probably represent the more affluent citizens, there is a certain drabness. Perhaps this relates to the old dictatorial days. In Budapest and Prague as well as in St. Petersburg I have seen what seems to be a real desire by women to make themselves noticed for their physical beauty. Perhaps this was a right denied them in previous decades. Access to Western fashions designed to acentuate beauty was possibly not encouraged.
I hope I am not engaged in cultural propaganda. I do have a friend from the Ukraine who said that in the 80's under the "old system" she would sacrifice food money sometimes to buy a nice dress and to look attractive. This somewhat counters my perception that this may be a more recent social phenomenon.
In anycase many of the women in St. Petersburg, that I saw were very attractive, and many who weren't naturally beautiful seemed to go the extra mile to make themselves as attractive as possible.
My reference to the teens in the Hermitage is interesting in regard to the boys. This was not femininity, but they didn't seem to be pushing the macho image. They had a sort of graceful appearance "like ballet dancers".
The popularity of ballet is an interesting case. When you hear some men cheering with such enthusiasm an art form that really emphasizes an almost spiritual level of female beauty, it does support a more enduring idea of a "land of forgotten femininity".
Posted 02 December 2005 - 06:41 PM
Ballerina recounts Bertrand Norman's quest to pass through the veil that separtes the spectator from the performing artist and also the one that still somewhat conceals this land, Russia.
This quest leads to the Mariinsky Theater, which has witnessed over the centuries the emergence of choreographers and performers "hors de commun" (exceptional).
He meets Alina (Somova), Ulyana (Lopatkina), Evgenia (Obraztsova), Svetlana (Zakharova) and Diana (Vishneva), who are the principal characters of the film.
These are women of radically different personalities. They include women beginning their careers and world famous stars. Together they illustrate the range of steps and chances taken that are fundamental to the life of a ballerina.
The "author" follows them all at regular intervals for several months.
He films them performing, practicing and at home.
He has already identified a "defie" (chalange, transition made?) for each of them relating to their futures.
There is the beginner entering the troup directly out of school. ("Alina"?)
Another is an injured star making her return. ("Uliana"?)
A rising star quits her company to better express herself elsewhere. ("Svetlana"?)
A companion artist assumes a worldwide career. ("Diana"?)
Finally a young "quadrille"(?) is becoming a movie actress. ("Evgenia"?)
Together they challenge definitions by the dynamism of their destiny.
The author has thus established a principal idea around which he constructs the architecture of his film.
"The Story Of The Ballerina Is One Of Permanent Metamorphosis".
It's different moments in her career or different instances in her overall journey. It's the changing of a young girl, studying, into a woman who lights up the stage with her grace.
It could be a new life outside of the theater.
The ballerina is constantly transforming herself and it's during this process of constant metamorphosis that her beauty becomes completely apparent.
A ballerina's art seems simple and light to the spectator. It represents however much effort on the part of the dancers. The film shows both the effort required of the artist and the grace and beauty that results.
In light of such artists, the ballet becomes more than an aesthetic entity. The ballet elicits a profound emotion in the spectator.
This Experience Sometimes Attains A Summit Where The Artist Transcends The Performance To Create Something Completely New.
Something Never Seen Before.
This 'Something' happens when the star dancers Diana Vishneva and Svetlana Zakharova perform. It happens when Uliana Lopatkina performs, possibly more so than with any other dancer.
But it's through regarding the evolution and maturing of a young dancer such as Alina Somova or Evgenia Obraztsova that the author of the film can make clear to the spectator the mystery of the flowering of such a woman.
Here he can clearly illustate the metamorphosis of her life and of her art. This is the metamorphosis of the artist of the real and of the imaginary that one calls a "ballerina."
Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:09 AM
Some of the footage I had seen before on youtube... but it was interesting all the same. I didn't quite buy the toe shoe store bit... wondered what that was all about. Alina Samova looked better here than in the recent photographs. Made me want to see Obraztsova dance live, though... Interesting to see them in some Balanchine Rep... the Rubies looked mushy but Diamonds looked more like it... Lopatkina looks like good Balanchine raw material, after perhaps spending a year at NYCB to absorb more of the coaching. There was a blink of footage of one of them in Tchaikovsky pas de deux (no more than a run, I think), and I'm thinking it was Obraztsova... but we weren't shown her dancing in it. Felt cheated as she looked like she was going to do it justice.
Also, watching 3 people simultaneously nit-picking at Samova after her Swan made one feel for her... seems like one coach at a time should be enough for anyone to process.
Watching them auditioning the 9-year-olds, I wondered what screening they go through before they get tried out. This passel of hopefuls were all off-the-normal-charts flexible... does no one normal even attempt the audition?
Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:46 PM
That seemed very contrived to me as well. Was she just looking for a different manufacturer altogether? I thought that by the time you get to her level, you've got people inside the company that you work with.
No kidding. I was interested to see how infrequently the dancer asks questions, or even acknowledges the comments of the coach. If I remember correctly, only Vishneva seemed to have much to say in the process. The rest felt very silent.
Is it just me, or are there some awkwardnesses in the narration? I know he lived into the 20th century, but Petipa is not usually referred to as a 20th century choreographer. And does the Kirov refer to all their female principals as Prima Ballerina? (that term gets bandied around here pretty casually, and it always makes me cringe)
Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:52 AM
Not really. I've been to that particular Grishko store when leading dancers of the Mariinsky and Maly troupes come in to buy gear as well as to ask for shoes from their favorite makers or shoes with certain features that they seek. Ditto the Grishko store in Moscow.
Conveniences that you & I take for granted in the West (in Europe or the Americas) are not 'givens' in Russia for the average working people. Yes, even now, almost 20 years after the changes.
Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:33 PM
Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:49 PM
But the ASIN is great for confirming that you have the right product.
Many thanks for the update, volcanohunter! I'm going to preorder it now.
Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:22 PM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
members, guests, anonymous users
Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases: