Inside the Paris Opera Ballet

November 28, 2001

Ever dream of what it would be like to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet? Frederick Wiseman’s newest film La Danse goes behind the scenes to document every aspect of the company: sweaty, intense rehearsals with etoiles; administrative meetings about fundraisers and retirement benefits; painters adding another coat to the hallways; and even a beekeeper making honey on the roof of the Palais Garnier!

Although the documentary gets long at about 2 hours and 38 minutes, the exclusive look into the how everything comes together is fascinating. I loved watching Wayne McGregor and Mats Ek set their pieces. And overhearing the ballet masters say, “Suzanne Farrell’s mistakes are what have become known as ‘technique.’ ” Artistic director Brigitte LeFevre is definitely the star, coming across as a tough broad who knows how to get things done while still keeping her dancers happy and encouraging them to grow.

will have a 2-week engagement November 4-17 at Film Forum in New York City.