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Diaghilev documentary on History channel Dec. 8

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Sometimes when I search for upcoming television of interest, I use the term "ballet," and this 30-minute documentary came up last time. It's scheduled for 5:30 AM here. Has anyone here seen it? Any comments? With luck, my recorder will get it so I can come to it fully awake...

The listing gives the vintage as 2008. Here's the blurb:

Paris, France had never seen anything before like the type of shows that the Ballets Russes had put on, as they incorporated lavish backdrops, dancers and amazing music in their performances due to Diaghilev's creative eye and ambition for the arts.

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I wonder if this is based on the same material as the 2005 documentary that can be rented on DVD entitled Ballet Russes (see link below). The DVD is 2 hours long (and quite good), so I assume it is something different. In addition, the DVD really starts at the end of Diaghilev's reign and has little on Diaghilev's Ballet Russes but rather gives the story of both Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Original Ballet Russe. I hope this 30 minute documentary is on the actual Ballet Russes since that part of the story (pre 1929) is almost entirely missing on the DVD in spite of its title.


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Now that I've been able to see this through, I think it's pretty good. For one thing, they've had material resources to put into it. It's © 2007 Lucasfilm Ltd., and George Lucas is one of the executive producers; and for another thing, the on-screen experts are, in order of appearance, John Bowlt, Nancy Reynolds, Charles M. Joseph, and Lynn Garafola.

There are lots of nice clips, especially in the larger segments on Petrushka, Afternoon of a Faun (both with Nureyev, I believe), and Prodigal Son (with Baryshnikov and von Aroldingen, for sure).

While much was familiar, and a little raised my eyebrow, I learned from it, and not just because the Ballets Russes is not my strong suit, either. And FWIW, I seem to remember seeing from the Titan TV documentation that this is from A&E. Didn't they have an unusual commercial-break policy?

Worth keeping an eye out for, I'd say.

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