Monday, September 21, 2015

Ballets Russes

I forget that I loved ballet first. Before jazz. Before opera. It came back to me as I watched Ballets Russes yesterday.

Ballets Russes is a wonderful 2005 documentary about the ballet companies that, in the 30's and 40's, built on the great Russian ballet tradition to create exciting new dance forms. Brought to the United States by the impresario Sam Hurok, the dancers (many of whom were Russian emigres or their daughters) delighted American audiences, paving the way for the major ballet companies in the US today.

The best part of the movie are the interviews with the dancers, most of whom were in their late 80's or early 90's. They are so full of life and wonderful memories. Their joyous stories of being dancers in this pivotal period transcend the hardship they sometimes endured. The human spirit at its best!

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