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ivyvaine23

ballet portrayed in movies and tv-shows

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Dramatic licence gets in the way of crediblity in so many, I think you would have to look for a documentary - try Frederick Wiseman's 2009 "La Danse", beautifully filmed over a long period at Paris Opera Ballet. 

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Welcome to the forum, IvyVaine!   

 

I agree with GTL;  documentaries are the way to go.  Natalia Makarova's series 'Ballerina' from the 1980s is also very good.  Margot Fonteyn also did one called The Magic of Dance, but it was so long ago that I can't remember what it was like.  I enjoyed it at the time. 

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NOTHING is portrayed accurately in movies (or TV for that matter) when looked at through anything approaching expert eyes. Sport is at times laughable, ballet as we know is lamentable, science gets mangled (CSI - hang your head in shame!), police/hospital procedures make the professionals wince and many won't watch, etc etc. To anyone that doesn't know anything about whatever being shown, it probably looks fine and helps the story along.

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I would love to have proper copies of The Magic of Dance, Ballerina and the Peter Schaufuss series Dancer.

 

For one offs there was Right Royal Company and All the Superlatives about Anthony Dowell. There were some master classes with Alicia Markova and Sir Peter Wright.

 

Finally the LWT documentary about the creation of Mayerling with the original cast.

 

It would be just terrific to see some, or all, of these again.

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If you want a laugh, try The Intelligence Men with Morecambe and Wise. It is very silly but also very funny in parts. Maybe a bit dated now but a little piece of 1960s pastiche. Eric works in a espresso bar. One day he is given a secret message in the form of a musical clue. But he is tone deaf and has no idea what it means. It is a few bars of the tune from Swan Lake. He and little Ern then get caught up in the world of spies and a production of Swan Lake, where to avoid being murdered, they join the dance of the little swans while dressed as ancient Egyptians from Aida. Anyway, I don't want to ruin the plot.

Odette is played by April Olrich, who actually danced with the RB at the time of Ninette de Valois. It is not a ballet film, just a vehicle for M&W. But it is funny if you like that sort of thing.

Edited by Jacqueline
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And that reminds me, I need to go and start a thread in Not Dance about the Internet Movie Database :(

 

Welcome to the forum, ivyvaine23.

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Ooooh! It is a bit cheesy but for the dance sequences alone The Turning Point is still my favourite.  The opening credits with the Entrance of the Shades and the famous dancers of the time they use in it!  

  

 

Guilty pleasure is Centre Stage. 

Mixture of styles I like 'Save The Last Dance'. 

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This is one of my favourite topics :)

The Children of Theatre Street is a lovely documentary film narrator by Princess Grace of Monaco about the ballet school at the Kirov. There's a lovely photo book to accompany the film which you can pick up very cheaply second-hand.

Nijinsky is a favourite ballet film of mine with some wonderful recreations ballets from Diaghilev's Ballet Russe and a remarkable cast. It made such an impression on me that I immediately read all the biographies on Nijinsky and Diaghilev I could lay my hands on.

Although White Nights had a corny plot, similar to The Turning Point, the dance sequences are definitely worth a watch with several leading dancers making cameo roles. ( I think Antoinette Sibley has a role dancing with Barishnikov as a seasoned, rather cynical prima ballerina !)

Am I alone in hating Black Swan? I don't think it did the world of ballet any favours, providing a very jaundiced view of what life is like in a ballet company.

Does anyone recall a Disney feature film from many, many years back called Ballerina? I have long wanted to get a copy after having been thrilled by it as a child.

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I remember Ballerina very clearly. It starred a young Jenny Agutter and the Royal Danish Ballet.

 

I have seen it comparatively recently when a satellite movie channel (possibly TCM?) showed it. I think I may have a dodgy video copy taken from that relay somewhere.

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Am I alone in hating Black Swan? I don't think it did the world of ballet any favours, providing a very jaundiced view of what life is like in a ballet company.

 

 

No you aren't; I hate it too and so do just about every dancer and ballet fan with whom I have discussed it!

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Ooooh! It is a bit cheesy but for the dance sequences alone The Turning Point is still my favourite. The opening credits with the Entrance of the Shades and the famous dancers of the time they use in it!

 

 

Guilty pleasure is Centre Stage.

Mixture of styles I like 'Save The Last Dance'.

 

I now find Centre Stage very cringey and full of cliches but I have to admit I was obsessed with it as a teenager - I'm embarassed to admit it directly inspired the start of my love affair with ballet. So for every awful ballet film out there, there may be some people who are inspired by it to try it or see it for themselves! ;-) Edited by Sunrise
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Am I alone in hating Black Swan? I don't think it did the world of ballet any favours, providing a very jaundiced view of what life is like in a ballet company.

 

No you aren't; I hate it too and so do just about every dancer and ballet fan with whom I have discussed it!

Hope to see you again soon Sim! When we meet I'll tell you more about my dear friend, a recently retired prima ballerina, with whom I went to see that shitty Swan film. By the end she was sobbing because, as she told me, it is a terrible film which contains more truths about being a dancer than other films. A minority view, perhaps (I hated the film) but maybe worth noting,

Edited by Geoff
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I would love to have proper copies of The Magic of Dance, Ballerina and the Peter Schaufuss series Dancer.

 

For one offs there was Right Royal Company and All the Superlatives about Anthony Dowell. There were some master classes with Alicia Markova and Sir Peter Wright.

 

Finally the LWT documentary about the creation of Mayerling with the original cast.

 

It would be just terrific to see some, or all, of these again.

 

The entire Southbank Show documentary about Mayerling is up on Youtube in three installments and is well worth watching. I also found part 1 of Makarova's Ballerina. We have all the episodes of the latter on VHS, also Dance with Deborah Bull but I don't know if that helps!

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I remember Ballerina very clearly. It starred a young Jenny Agutter and the Royal Danish Ballet.

I have seen it comparatively recently when a satellite movie channel (possibly TCM?) showed it. I think I may have a dodgy video copy taken from that relay somewhere.

Thanks for this. Your response prompted me to do a little hunting around and low and behold, the whole film is on You Tube, as is The Children of Theatre Street which I mentioned previously as well worth watching.
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First of all, thank you so much for your recommendations! I wrote them all down :) This is one of my favorite topics as well!!

 

This is one of my favourite topics :)
The Children of Theatre Street is a lovely documentary film narrator by Princess Grace of Monaco about the ballet school at the Kirov. 

Am I alone in hating Black Swan? I don't think it did the world of ballet any favours, providing a very jaundiced view of what life is like in a ballet company.

Does anyone recall a Disney feature film from many, many years back called Ballerina? I have long wanted to get a copy after having been thrilled by it as a child. 

I've read about The Children of Theatre Street! Not that it really matters, but wasn't it nominated for an Oscar? 

And you're not alone in hating Black Swan. Natalie Portman is an amazing actress, but I don't like how the ballet company is portrayed. As you said, it provided a very jaundiced view of life in a ballet company. 

I'd also be interested in that Disney feature film! Do you have a link for that? I looked it up but I can't seem to find it... 

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I enjoyed Flesh and Bone not least because it featured real dancers and had plenty of beautiful well-shot dance sequences. It definitely was going for the shock factor with the extreme and dark story lines and the sex and nudity. Also a LOT of subplots going on which were never fully explored....perhaps they were planning on expanding on these in the 2nd series although it was never commissioned.

I maintain F&B is not as far-fetched as Black Swan. I can't stand that movie - I found it so cartoon-like in its characterisation and Natalie Portman's upper body so unconvincing that it was off-putting. Wonderful special effects / make up though.

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First of all, thank you so much for your recommendations! I wrote them all down :) This is one of my favorite topics as well!!

 

 

I've read about The Children of Theatre Street! Not that it really matters, but wasn't it nominated for an Oscar? 

And you're not alone in hating Black Swan. Natalie Portman is an amazing actress, but I don't like how the ballet company is portrayed. As you said, it provided a very jaundiced view of life in a ballet company. 

I'd also be interested in that Disney feature film! Do you have a link for that? I looked it up but I can't seem to find it...

 

If you 'Google' Ballerina 1966 you should get a link to the You Tube page.

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There's a long ballet sequence in Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) which features many familiar faces from the RB.  I can recommend the film too, very clever and witty with a brilliant score by Miklos Rosza.  There's a DVD and it's also on Amazon Video.  Well worth watching.

 

Linda

 

I forgot to add that the cast includes Tamara Toumanova, one of the three 'baby ballerinas'.

Edited by loveclassics

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@alison thanks! I read through some of the posts, but I'm still not sure whether I should watch it or not  :lol: at least Irina Dvorovenko is in this. I heard the lead actress was originally a dancer as well? 

 

 

If you 'Google' Ballerina 1966 you should get a link to the You Tube page.

 

Thank you so much! I know what I'll be watching today! 

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I like coming across ballet in a film unexpectedly.   There's a rare appearance by a young Evgenia Obraztsova in Klapisch's Russian Dolls, where she plays a visiting Russian ballet dancer with whom an English stagehand falls in love and sets out to woo.   There is little dancing but it's a charming role.  Have to say the stagehand is punching well above his weight with EO and it took some suspension of disbelief!   

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Watched Ballerina the other day and it was fantastic! The dance scenes, performed by the Royal Danish Ballet, are superb and the plot is entrancing. Loved Henning Kronstam, Kirsten Simone and Mette Honnigen in their roles were absolutely phenomenal and I wish this was available on DVD... A definite buy for me. 

 

 

I like coming across ballet in a film unexpectedly.   There's a rare appearance by a young Evgenia Obraztsova in Klapisch's Russian Dolls, where she plays a visiting Russian ballet dancer with whom an English stagehand falls in love and sets out to woo.   There is little dancing but it's a charming role.  Have to say the stagehand is punching well above his weight with EO and it took some suspension of disbelief!   

 

 

you mean the movie from 2005?

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