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Etoiles - Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet
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Dance lovers will adore it! A fluid, intelligent and empathetic examination of one of the world's great ballet troupes. --Los Angeles Daily News
Sublime artistry! --Variety
Top Customer Reviews
You see how physically difficult dancing is, not just the beautiful illusion that is portrayed on stage. You see the process of rehearsal, including arguing like "No, you need to put your hand HERE, or else you'll drop me." You see the lines drawn on the stage to help dancers hit their mark; you see the beautiful swan-like ballerinas with sweat pouring down their faces during a performance; you see them leap gracefully on stage, and once they're backstage they pace about holding their backs and stomachs, panting in exhaustion just as a marathon runner would; you see rehearsals and find out how beneath the music, the chorus dancers sound like stampeding horses because of the pointe shoes; and the dancers bandaging their blisters, describing how uncomfortable rock hard pointe shoes are.
These are things you don't get to see and don't know about unless you are a dancer yourself.Read more ›
Marie-Agnes Gillot is asked if she loves ballet. Love is too weak a word, she answers. Former dancer Ghislaine Thesmar (who now rehearses dancers and is married to choreographer Pierre Lacotte) describes aspiring dancers not as students but "disciples." She admits that the system is a machine that "crushes" the weak (who are, of course, still children). Is it inhumane? Gillot says she "got some whacks" but "turned out OK." Indeed, she loved her time at ballet school. The goal of the elders is to pass on their love of ballet and foster talent. There is no affirmative action for the kinesthetically-challenged, and self-esteem arises only as a byproduct of achievement. Yet Thesmar is manifestly sensitive to the needs of individual dancers-- a fact confirmed by etoile Agnes Letestu, who credits Thesmar for not trying to make her over in Thesmar's image.
Giggles are ubiquitous in this documentary. There's competition, uncertainty, stage fright, and lots of sweat, but these people are having fun. Lower-ranking dancers may spend six weeks of practice for two minutes of performance in "Swan Lake." It's insane, says Thesmar.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Every ballerina should know about the French aesthetic and mastery of character. Less emphasis on dazzling athletics as the Russians do and more on embodying the actual story.Published 4 days ago by Natalie Thompson
A beautiful documentary detailing the lives of prima ballerinas professionally and personally.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful film! Have watched time after time and it's a beautiful, true display of the ballet.Published 11 days ago by Likes to Read Good Books
An engaging look at the hard work and sweat this discipline requires and how much the dancers sacrifice for beauty and perfection of movement. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
A glimpse into the early careers of major stars of Paris Opera Ballet, including Marie-Agnes Gillot, known for her extreme height, and recently retired Aurelie Dupont and Agnes... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michelle Brunetti
Excellent look at both the joys and harsh realities of a dancer's life. Ballet lovers will really enjoy it.Published 6 months ago by Marilyn Fisher
I have been a fan of the paris opera ballet for 25 years and this is just the perfect compliment to their repertoire.
i give this dvd 3 stars and not more based on video quality inappropriate to the theme. this does not even rank as dvd quality.. Read morePublished 8 months ago by bill moss