I had a tough day last week. One of those days of reckoning spent nervously pacing around town chewing your lips off wondering if you’re really cut out to be doing what you’re doing, fearing that all this creative-stuff you live for is a giant fuck around and you’re squandering your retirement years. No longer able to take it I caught myself saying maddening nonsense like “I really need to read some poems and go to yoga” and so help me I meant it. So. Hard.
So I popped a bottle of wine, made myself a nice english muffin pizza, snuggled up to myself and put on Ballets Russes because let’s face it, watching ballet is getting the best of the poems and the yoga without having to crack a book or move.
Dude. This thing is incredible.
Shot in 2000 and featuring interviews with the surviving dancers from the restructured company that took the world by storm in the 1930s, the doc covers their glory years of Massine, Balanchine, Matisse, Dali and its gradual petering out during the 50s due to mismanagement and some very sexy decision making. These dancers worked with and were the best of the best of the best. Hearing them reminisce and reflect on their work is reassuring and inspiring. It’s not all high brow, there’s also plenty of gossip and shit talking!
Want to hear a gang of women in their mid-80s wax lady boner? Wait till George Zoritch is brought up.
Nathalie Krassovska, still works her coquetteish charms and just wait until she talks about why she had to turn down a contract with a Hollywood studio and leave LA.
Dame Alicia Markova is lovely and closes out the documentary with a line that both cheered me up and made me cry a little. You also get to hear this lady say “I was the original baby ballerina. But you don’t hear me talking about it.”
There’s tons of footage and the last thing I’ll tell you is to get ready for Mia Slavenska.