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La Danse
The Paris Opera Ballet

Directed by Frederick Wiseman
France, USA
158 minutes
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In what the New York Times describes as “One of the finest dance films ever made,” Wiseman reveals the on and off-stage dramas of one of the world’s great dance companies.
This transfixing portrait immerses us in action with much time devoted to the renowned Paris Opera’s practice studios, as dancers rehearse for the upcoming season. Their tireless perfecting of technique and astounding talent is captured in thrillingly sustained takes. Pirouettes and jetés fill the screen, before the dancers pause, catch their breath, and start again. We then become the privileged spectators of company performances of Nureyev’s The Nutcracker and Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydice, among others. As Wiseman invites us to experience the inner workings of dance, he also reveals the mechanisms necessary to maintaining this grand institution – which require inspired creativity of another kind.

Complement your in-cinema viewing of It Takes Time: Ten Films by Frederick Wiseman with a Wiseman Masterclass, hosted for a limited time on ACMI’s online platform, Cinema 3.
This superb, engrossing piece manages to dissect both an institution and an art form with extraordinary skill and beauty.
Kate Stables, Sight and Sound


Sun 3 Jul
Sold Out Dendy Newtown - Cinema 1
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Program Strand
Wiseman Retrospective
Original Title
La Danse - le Ballet De l'Opéra De Paris
France, USA
In English and French with English subtitles
Frederick Wiseman
Françoise Gazio, Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Frederick Wiseman
John Davey
Frederick Wiseman, Valérie Pico
Documentary, Dance, Cinephile, Arts, Retrospective
Company Credits
Sales Agent: Zipporah Films, Inc.
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