Directed by Frederick Wiseman (USA, 1995, 170 min.). 16mm.

Ballet is a profile of the American Ballet Theatre, an important classical ballet company. The film presents the company in rehearsal in their New York studio and on tour in Athens and Copenhagen. Choreographers, ballet masters, and mistresses are shown at work with principal dancers, soloists, and the corps de ballet. Other sequences involve the administration and fundraising aspects of the company.

Ballet is an eloquent statement about the crucial role of art in bringing extra dimensions to our lives … As much as any seminarian, dancers have a special calling, an intense dedication. In classes and rehearsals, we see youngsters with ideal bodies looking for direction from those who have gone before. Outside the studios, they are just ordinary young people going to the beach … Then the lights go down, the curtain goes up and they are transformed into the vessels of incredible beauty.” —John J. O’Connor, The New York Times


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