Ballet | Chicago Reader


During the early stretches of Frederick Wiseman's 1995 documentary on the American Ballet Theatre, it's great to see rehearsing dancers and their prompters thinking with their bodies, then trying to explain their thoughts and feelings in words. In keeping with his interest in institutions, Wiseman looks occasionally and tellingly at other parts of the company's operations, particularly its handling of business. The final 70 minutes shows the dancers on the road in Europe, resting, practicing, and performing; apart from a thrilling performance of The Rite of Spring, this section is oddly anticlimactic, perhaps because the camerawork has become more touristic.


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