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Fred Wiseman's New Documentary of The Paris Opera BalletWill Be Available on DVD


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#16 Nanarina

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 03:05 PM

HI Bella12 and Silvermash,

Were you at the Question and answer session? Because it was asked if the Dancers names could be mentioned, but you rightly say Fred Wiseman did not seem to want to do this. I think it is a shame, as I am partially sighted I could not always see .Even on the big screen it would have helped me to see who they were. At one stage I wondered if the stockier guy in Genus was Jeremie Belingard as there are photographs of him in it. It may seem strange but I often have to relie on their physique or style of dancing, if I cannot hear a voice.
In Jeremie's case it looked like his lower legs.I have to use special binoculars in a theatre and sometumes manage to see faces. Thank you the name of the other ballet. And spelling correction The E is near the S on the keyboard and I do hit the wrong keys at times. Though I must have missed it when I checked.

I think you are right about F.W.s motives, although he did not actually confirm this, He thought names would take up too much space as he woulld have to mention more than just one or two people when there were a number prescent.

#17 silvermash

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:40 PM

Yes I think the dancer you mentioned is probably Jérémie 'cause the other "short" dancer in Genus is Benjamin Pech and he was shown with Marie-Agnès Gillot... Other dancers were Mathias Heymann not very tall either but easy to recognise (the youngest) and Mathieu Ganio, quite tall with long limbs...

#18 carbro

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 10:57 AM

From the Film Forum (NYC), where La Danse opens on November 4:


Film Forum
209 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014
Box Office: 212-727-8110

[size=3]LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET, [/size]
Frederick Wiseman’s Portrait of the Legendary Dance Troupe,
Has NYC Theatrical Premiere Wednesday, November 4 at Film Forum


Film Forum is pleased to present the U.S. theatrical premiere of LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET, opening Wednesday, November 4. 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.

Frederick Wiseman is one of the world’s leading practitioners of the observational documentary. His films include TITICUT FOLLIES, HIGH SCHOOL, BASIC TRAINING, PUBLIC HOUSING, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, and BALLET (on the American Ballet Theater). Critic Philip Lopate has called Wiseman “the greatest American filmmaker of the last 30 years.”

“Glorious. Typically rigorous and compelling. Wiseman not only highlights many stellar performances by the company’s star dancers but subtler matters of labour and logistics.
A superb portrait of the perennial pas de deux between art and commerce.”
- Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly (Toronto)

"An absolute treat for balletomanes."
- Leslie Felperin, Variety

LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET (2009, 158 mins.) Director, Editor and Sound: Frederick Wiseman. Produced by Pierre-Oliver Bardet, Frederick Wiseman, Francoise Gazio. Photography: John Davey. Note: See press kit for a complete list of dancers and ballets. France/USA. In English and French with English subtitles. An Ideale Audience, Opera National de Paris, Zipporah Films production.



For downloadable photos and press notes, go to:
http://www.filmforum.org/press



#19 Nanarina

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:32 AM

Yes I think the dancer you mentioned is probably Jérémie 'cause the other "short" dancer in Genus is Benjamin Pech and he was shown with Marie-Agnès Gillot... Other dancers were Mathias Heymann not very tall either but easy to recognise (the youngest) and Mathieu Ganio, quite tall with long limbs...


Thank you very much Silvermash, I am surprised I did not reconise M. Gsnio snd M Heymann, as I have seen the later in person dancing Onegin, then afterwards at the stage door. So Jeremie was the other person, . I think he is lovely "it's those muscles you know!!!!I

#20 Nanarina

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:40 AM

Thank you Carbro for the write up and photographs of La Danse, it sums it up pIt perfectly. Will you be able to go and see it? I am sure you would enjoy it.The time of performance is 2h 54m.

#21 silvermash

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 05:18 AM

Yes I think the dancer you mentioned is probably Jérémie 'cause the other "short" dancer in Genus is Benjamin Pech and he was shown with Marie-Agnès Gillot... Other dancers were Mathias Heymann not very tall either but easy to recognise (the youngest) and Mathieu Ganio, quite tall with long limbs...


Thank you very much Silvermash, I am surprised I did not reconise M. Gsnio snd M Heymann, as I have seen the later in person dancing Onegin, then afterwards at the stage door. So Jeremie was the other person, . I think he is lovely "it's those muscles you know!!!!I


Mathieu Ganio is only there a short moment with Agnès Letestu in Genus... They both got injured and only danced a show or two I think, being replaced by Emilie Cozette and Stéphane Phavorin

#22 sandik

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:25 PM

There's an interview with Wiseman on the arts.meme site here. (you may have to click around in the site -- I can't find a specific url for the interview)

#23 bart

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:28 PM

David Denby has a brief notice in this week's New Yorker. I put his conclusion in bold type.:

Fanatical artistic dedication is also the subject of Frederick Wiseman’s “La Danse,” a portrait of the Paris Opera Ballet. Miller lets us know, with titles, who is performing and where; Wiseman, proceeding in his customary manner, presents long scenes without identifying anyone. We’re on our own, which makes us feel, as Wiseman haunts the stairways, rehearsal studios, and watery subterranean corridors of the Palais Garnier (the Ballet’s home), that we have become, with him, phantoms of the opera.

The Ballet is a huge organism, at the center of which is Brigitte Lefèvre, the tentacular administrative head. She’s a little overbearing, and 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.

So many of Wiseman’s films have been about institutions (a police force, a battered-women’s shelter) that didn’t work well, or that merely penned up broken-down Americans who fall off the tracks of economic and physical success. It’s a joyous experience to see an institution in full flower—to see not dereliction and disorder but the many forms of striving and virtue.


[Edited to add: http://www.newyorker...y?currentPage=2

#24 rg

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 12:35 PM

at a reception for Frederick Wiseman on the eve of the opening of his newest film in NYC, the promotional card, scanned below, was available.
at another gathering late last week the director noted that, if i recall correctly, the number of hours of 'raw' footage for this film were the most he's ever taken before making his final edit. (he also noted that the out-take hours, some 148 or so of them, would be deposited in the Library of Congress and eventually probably available to 'researchers' etc.)
re: said edit he told a questioner last night that he edits his films all by himself and that no one sees the result until his finally finished.
when asked about his gift for getting his subjects to seem unaware of his presence, he said he had no answer but that one should never underestimate the power/element/factor (i forget this precise word) of narcissism.
f.y.i.

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#25 bart

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:05 PM

when asked about his gift for getting his subjects to seem unaware of his presence, he said he had no answer but that one should never underestimate the power/element/factor (i forget this precise word) of narcissism.

:clapping:

#26 Hans

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:17 PM

I don't find it so surprising considering that dancers are used to performing as if the audience isn't there.

#27 rg

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:35 PM

to clarify: the narcissim question, probably not made clear above, was directed generally, at the numerous individuals who appear in Wiseman's films, often saying things and behaving in ways one might not expect to be 'shown' to the camera, and not specifically with regard to the dancers documented in LA DANSE.

#28 Ray

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:31 PM

As a former dancer, I especially relished this line in Denby's review: "The Ballet is a huge organism, at the center of which is Brigitte Lefèvre, the tentacular administrative head. She’s a little overbearing, and Wiseman, with evident pleasure, turns back to the dancers...."

And in reply to Hans, who wrote "dancers are used to performing as if the audience isn't there," another way of putting this would be to say that performers always act as if an audience is always there.

#29 sandik

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:51 PM

Alongside the tendency of performers to perform is Wiseman's practice of taking hours and hours and hours of footage -- after a time, the subjects of the project almost forget the cameras are there.

#30 Hans

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 06:53 PM

And in reply to Hans, who wrote "dancers are used to performing as if the audience isn't there," another way of putting this would be to say that performers always act as if an audience is always there.

Yes indeed!


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