New Documentary Follows the Companies That Battled for Diaghilev's Legacy

Classic Arts News   New Documentary Follows the Companies That Battled for Diaghilev's Legacy
 
Ballets Russes, a documentary about the various companies spawned by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, plays through November 8 at New York's Film Forum.

The documentary, by filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine, includes archival performance footage from the 1930s to the 1960s, as well as interviews with dancers who toured with the company, such as Frederic Franklin, Maria Tallchief, and Alicia Markova.

The film's subject is the various companies that rose to claim the fame of Diaghilev's company when the impresario died in 1929. L_onide Massine's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Wassily de Basil's Original Ballet Russe sustained a long rivalry over dancers, choreographers, ballets, and audiences.

Both companies, which are credited with bringing European ballet to America and beginning a craze that brought about the existence of both American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet, are now defunct.

Film Forum is located at 209 West Houston Street in Manhattan.


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