I've just gotten word that WNET (Channel 13, NYC) will be broadcasting the documentary "Steven Caras: See Them Dance."
-- Sunday, Jan. 19 (1:30 p,m,). Repeated on: Tues Jan. 21 (4:00 a.m.)
I saw this at a special showing at the Kravis Center (West Palm Beach) last year. The audience of dance fans (many from New York, including quite a few who lived through the Balanchine years) was enthralled, and quite emotional.
Since then, the documentary has been broadcast on many PBS stations around the country, but not until now in NYC, where Caras danced with New York City Ballet from 1969-83, later becoming one of the most important dance photographers in the country. I'll bet almost everyone on Ballet Alert! knows at least some of his work, especially the image of Mr. Balanchine taking his last solo curtain call ("Last Bow").
The promotional material describes the documentary as "profiling Caras' personal journey of challenges and triumphs in the world of ballet at a time when men pursuing dance rarely escaped unscathed. In spite of bullying at school and rejection at home, ... his perseverence paid off, With only three years of formal training, Caras was personally invited to joing New York City Ballet at 18 by its founder, the legendary George Balanchine who became his mentor -- first as a dancer and later as a photographer."
The focus is on the personal story and on the photography, largely because of difficulties of getting rights to extended performance videos of Balanchine's and Robbins's work. Those with a NYCB video collection can find Caras dancing the First Theme at the start of Four Temperaments. That's part of the Dance in America series "Choreography by Balanchine" (performed, I think, in 1976 or 77).