Entering the bowels of the Palais Garnier, Frederick Wiseman follows, during twelve weeks, the production of seven ballets by the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet. From rehearsal studios to costume rooms to administrative offices, La Danse navigates through the whole structure of the institution.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
What an immense organisation and achievement the Opera Ballet is, so many cogs in the machine! It reminded me of when Chelsea won a match, the Tea lady congratulated Mourinho on what he and the team had done, he corrected her, "no, what we've done". The film is thought-provoking, fascinating, mesmerising and beautiful, and to my eye the dancing was superb.
An immersive portrait - to say the least at three hours duration - of this estimable company. It’s a wallow in a warm bath turning cool you like images of artistic endeavour underpinned by bureaucratic mechanisms. At this length you might expect a more thorough survey of both, but Wiseman typically remains at arms length and reveals perhaps too little with the airy detachment meaning it’s quickly forgotten.
Wiseman advierte que la danza como la forma más clara de belleza orgánica corporal solo puede ser posible a través de la constante intervención de diversos factores que operan para generar tales actos de expresión. Se trata, como no podía ser de otra manera viniendo del más implacable de los documentalistas, de una obra que decide poner su énfasis en los procesos antes que en los resultados. ¿Docu-marxismo? Puede ser
I’ve seen enough Wiseman films to know that they’re never too long. More often than not, they’re not long enough. The Paris Opera Ballet is, as Wiseman illuminates in each of his films, at once a holy space and your average, dependably soul-sucking bureaucracy.
One of my all-time favorite dance documentaries. Extraordinary access to rehearsals, classes, critiques, and administrative discussions. Love the mix of classical and contemporary ballet. A beautiful encapsulation of everything necessary to maintain a world-class professional cultural institution. Struck by the homogeneity of the troupe though--everyone with darker skin color is working as grounds staff.