Directed by Frederick Wiseman (USA, 2009, 159 min.). 35mm.

The Paris Opera Ballet is one of the world’s great ballet companies. 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. The film shows the work involved in administering the company and the coordinated and collaborative work of choreographers, ballet masters, dancers, musicians, and costume, set, and lighting designers.

La Danse, however, does more than offer intimate access to great dancers. It showcases performers like Nicolas Le Riche and Agnès Letestu and choreography by Rudolf Nureyev and Pina Bausch, but it also ventures beyond the stage and studios and into sewing rooms, cafeterias, and administrative offices. Like most of Mr. Wiseman’s movies, it is above all a portrait of an institution.” —Dennis Lim, The New York Times

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