Dec. 31st, 2010

hildy89: (girl friday)
Thanks to Netflix, I've gone on a bit of a ballet bender. I've watched several documentaries off their Instant Watching. "The Dancer" (or "Dansaren") was about a Royal Swedish ballerina and her training from ballet school up through performing with the company. "Etoiles" showed behind the scenes at the Paris Opera Ballet. "Ballerina" showcases five ballerinas from the Mariinsky's Kirov Ballet.

Alas most of my notes on the first two are lost to the twitter archives in the sky. I do remember liking "Dancer" a lot more than "Etoiles". (Alas Dancer has been taken off Instant Watching, so I'd have to get the dvd to rewatch it.)

"Ballerina" was fascinating because of my reactions to the various dancers. In figure skating, I notice the technicians with the jumps and spins. I don't hate the ultra artistic skaters, but I sometimes feel like they're over reliant on that aspect of their skating. With ballet, I was really noticing the actresses, the ones that became their roles. They had an immediate presence on the screen. I wanted to watch them. From the minute Diana Vishneva covered her face in "Cinderella" rehearsals, I was captivated. Evgenia Obraztsova reminded me of a slimmer dancing Christina Hendricks a little with her red hair and bubbly personality. With her age and experience, Ulyana Lopatkina was more interesting to me than Alina Somova, the young star the documentary focused so heavily on. I don't know how much the competitive aspect of skating plays into this, especially for Olympic eligible skating.

The one side effect of watching all these ballet documentaries is I wind up wanting to watch full length ballets. Netflix has them available, but not instantly. One that intrigued me was George Balanchine's "Jewels".

Long winded ballet geekery on Jewels w/ caps )

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