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 Post subject: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 7:59 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA,USA
Well, I just got my hands on "Etioles:Dancers of the PAris Opera Ballet" via Netflix .com and I have to tell you this is a fabulous CD. Basically it interviews all of the levels dancers - from corps understudys to the Etioles during their daily life at this company. It touches on the high level of competition at a young age ( one teacher comented how the weak would be "crushed" - and she was referring to 10 year olds ), making it in the corp, understudying, being promoted to an Etiole level then getting injured, pregnancy, children, family and career, and retirement ( 40 y/o for women, 45 for men - with pension). POB does 150 performances a year, not including touring.
Also, if you are learning french, one can turn off the subtitles.! :) I may be wrong, but this gave a very good sense of what POB is like. There were even a few short interviews with the choreographers.
Anyway - a great christmas present for anyone interested in ballet!
Any other good behind the scenes interviews otu there?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 1:49 am 
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Location: San Francisco
Thanks for the news that it's available now for us US types. I've just ordered it.

A couple of other documentaries that have behind-the-scenes interviews are "Backstage at the Kirov" and "The Leningrad Legend," which is also about the Kirov.

Another source of interviews with dancers is Victoria Morgan's CD-ROM for Ballet. It isn't new, but the interviews section features dancers talking about a variety of subjects. Among them are Susan Jaffe, Evelyn Cisneros, Helene Alexopoulos and Ariana Lallone.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 4:29 am 
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Location: NEWTOWNARDS, NORTHERN IRELAND
I saw "Backstage at the Kirov" YEARS ago (around 1985/86!) when it was shown on Channel 4,here in Northern Ireland. I like behind the scenes films, especially when it shows the dancers in the dressing room and backstage getting ready,pacing up and down backstage, and generally feeling nervous. My favourite scene from 1 of these was from a film I once saw about Natalia Makarova (sp?) Now you would have thought that, after her vast experience, she wouldn't suffer from nerves, but there's a scene where it shows her doing warm-up steps, making mistakes, and then "collapsing" (to use her word) So it comforted me to know that even the best suffer from pre-show jitters!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 11:55 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA,USA
Another aside on the "Etioles" video is does show how physically demanding dance can be for the performers.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:40 pm 
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OK, Matthew, now that "Etoiles" has appeared as "Etioles" for the third time, I'm starting to think it's not just a typo. And "Etiole" looks too much like "etiolate" to be a good choice of misspellings to use in connection with a ballet company! (Or was that the intent, and I just missed it?)

<small>[ 01 December 2003, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 7:11 pm 
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Sorry it has been a brutal week at work, and I usual jot o quick notes between patients. Etoiles! Je suis une idiot!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 11:13 pm 
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Pas du tout! I can't wait to get my copy so I can judge for myself whether they're étoiles or étiolés.

<small>[ 02 December 2003, 01:43 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 11:55 am 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
A number of years ago PBS was showing a series called "The Royal Opera House" or something like that. It was wonderful. They really didn't edit much down for TV. If it is available on DVD/ video I would recommend it. You really want to know what it's like backstage...watch that.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:48 pm 
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Oh, yes! I saw the segment about the ballet from that series. I remember a corps member in her costume and makeup from the controversial production of Sleeping Beauty, looking at herself in the mirror and saying, "I look like a bloody vampire!" (I'm not sure she actually said the B word; however, her voice clearly indicated it should be there.)

<small>[ 02 December 2003, 01:49 PM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:34 pm 
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Location: NEWTOWNARDS, NORTHERN IRELAND
I remember that series too. It was just called "The House" and originally aired on BBC2 here in around 1996. My favourite "behind the scenes" bit from that series (never released to my knowledge, even on video, never mind DVD) was when the kids were in the dressing room preparing to go on stage in "The Nutcracker" and they focused the camera on a boy walking round and round saying to himself "I'm calm, I'm calm, I'm not nervous" when the expression on his face suggested that he knew that wasn't true!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:19 am 
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I started watching Etoiles tonight. It is very enjoyable, and the dancers look great. From a filmmaking perspective, though, I think Backstage at the Kirov is still the best I've seen. Etoiles's editing is too jumpy for me. Etoiles is more focused on interviews than on dancing, and the reverse is true of Backstage at the Kirov.

It must be tough to be in such a competitive atmosphere from the age of 9 on. I was surprised when one of the dancers said, near the beginning of the film, that dancers don't form real friendships with other dancers (I don't recall the exact wording) because I had wonderful friends in the companies I was in. But when I learned about the competitions the POB students have to go through just to advance to the next level, I can understand a bit more the difficulty of making close friends.

I only got to see 2 performances of the POB when it was in San Francisco, but from having perused Danser en Francais, more of the dancers seemed familiar to me.

I recommend this DVD.

<small>[ 06 December 2003, 02:24 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 11:37 pm 
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Are there still people who think ballet dancers are inarticulate? If so, this documentary should convince them otherwise.

I watched Backstage at the Kirov again. I wish its editors could have worked on Etoiles. It's so much nicer (for me) to watch extended dance excerpts and longer interviews. It was really frustrating to see so little of Manuel Legris's dancing. However, I wish Backstage had been done with subtitles, like Etoiles. I do not like voiceovers.

<small>[ 07 December 2003, 04:23 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 2:52 pm 
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One of the intersting commnes was when one of te head dance instructors, referring to the program for 9-12 year olds said " In this program, the weak will be crushed".


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 5:13 pm 
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I thought that was rather horrifying.

I recall that Marie-Agness Gillot said she'd had no problems with the atmosphere at the school. Aurelie Dupont had a different opinion. I wonder how other dancers felt about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Behind the Scenes CD/Video
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 6:57 pm 
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Didn't Marie Agnes Gillot mention that she got her share of whacks? It sounds like the British school I went to back in the day, but the kids loked pretty content on the video.


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