sandik

Paris Opera Ballet & Frederick Wiseman

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From the links section, an article on an upcoming film by Frederick Wiseman on the Paris Opera Ballet

here

Does anyone have any advance information on this project?

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According to Wiseman's production company, the film follows the rehearsals and performances of seven ballets: "Genus" by Wayne McGregor, "Le Songe de Medée" by Angelin Preljocaj, "La Maison de Bernarda" by Mats Ek, "Paquita" by Pierre Lacotte, "Casse Noisette" by Rudolph Nureyev, "Orphée and Eurydice" by Pina Bausch and "Romeo and Juliette" by Sasha Waltz.
I wonder how or by whom the ballets were chosen, or whether it was just coincidental. The film will certainly project the image of a highly eclectic company. :thumbsup:

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It's probably what they were doing that season, or for the weeks when he was there. From what I know of Wiseman (and the ABT "Ballet" film, that's his method. He walks around and shoots, dispassionately, what he sees. (And then, of course he edits, very passionateliy :thumbsup: )

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He walks around and shoots, dispassionately, what he sees. (And then, of course he edits, very passionateliy :thumbsup: )

What a nice and concise description of his process! He is in many ways the closest we get to true cinema verite -- he will keep his cameras going in a location for so long that the people being filmed sometimes do truly forget that they're being recorded. It can lead to incredibly intimate material.

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I wonder how or by whom the ballets were chosen, or whether it was just coincidental. The film will certainly project the image of a highly eclectic company. :blink:

Well it's quite the order of the shows that year, i.e. from October to April as only Caligula by Nicolas Le Riche (up to me unfortunately) and the triple bill Balanchine/Noureev/Forsythe which were both just before the Mats Ek bill are missing... Perhaps the Mats Ek rehearsals, two news ballets in the POB repertoire, were before those two?

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If the film of the POB were only half as good as his other films that I've seen ("Ballet" and "Domestic Violence") then we're in for a treat.

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I'm posting a bit from the press release on the film, due to open in NYC at the Film Forum on Nov. 4.

this is how the release reads:

<<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. >>

the works caught in his documentary, in rehearsal and/or in performance, include:

Lacotte's PAQUITA

Nureyev's CASSE NOISETTE

McGregor's GENUS

Preljocaj's MEDEA

Ek's THE HOUSE OF BERNADA ALBA

Waltz's ROMEO AND JULIET

&

Bausch's ORPHEUS AND EURYDYCE

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Thank you, rg. I would have hoped for more classical material, but this movie should be a pleasure to see in any case. The POB dancers seem to be a clever and articulate lot, so I expect the film to be an intellectual pleasure, as well.

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NYC's Film Forum has lists the following dates and showtimes for its run of LA DANSE:

November 4-17 at Film Forum:

LA DANSE

THE PARIS OPERA BALLET

Directed & Edited by FREDERICK WISEMAN

France / USA 2009 158 mins. In English & French with English subtitles Zipporah Films

Daily at 1:15, 5:30, 8:30

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interesting that the trailer shows proportionally more of the tutu-and-tulle-dressed repertory (Paquita and Nutcracker) than of the bare-legged, leotard-dressed, moderniste rep (Genus, Romeo, Bernada Alba, Orpheus, Medea), which makes up a big part of the film.

wonder if the selection of clips for the trailer, which weights the 'classical' rep over the 'modern' from the over-two-and-a-half-hour film, was Wiseman's choice or the distributor's.

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Interesting. Remember in the ABT film how much time was spent with Kolpakova's rehearsals AND Symphonic Variations. Maybe Wiseman has taste :)

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the movie will be out October 7 in France. you can watch the official trailer here http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cm...6&hd=1.html

Thanks sivermash. Being french I am so going to cinema next october !

wonder if the selection of clips for the trailer, which weights the 'classical' rep over the 'modern' from the over-two-and-a-half-hour film, was Wiseman's choice or the distributor's.

With so few ballet featuring on french TV and almost none in movie theaters I suspect the distributors chose not to scare off the audience with anything too "outlandish", hence the more traditional tutu-and-tulle look of the trailer.

On the other hand Nils Tavernier movie "Tout près des étoiles" was a big succes in 2001 so one should'nt underestimate the open-mindedness of the public. You don't get the best out of people by assuming they have bad taste.

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