What are your favorite Dance/ Ballet movies?
Etoiles of the Paris Opera Ballet
Both are wonderful documentaries!
The Red Shoes…..easy
Tie game! And Jones just barely edges out Belmondo, the crowd is disappointed and begins to riot…
Definitely Norman McLaren’s Pas de Deux.
Watch it here:
To all the good examples above, I would just add Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, with its ‘ballet like’ kung-fu moves. I am glad Pas de Deux has made it to YouTube – for the widest possible exposure (thanks CS). This looks like computer animation, but isn’t. Norman McLaren was one of the true geniuses of the short film. Watch anything by him, but start here, if you don’t know him yet. For me, Red Shoes says it all. Billy Elliot is a different take – slum boy, with abusive father, decides to take up ballet – powerful stuff!
“The Tales of Hoffman” is a phenominal movie!
not purely ballet, but still dealing with dance, are carlos suara’s flamenco films
also altman’s the company is quite good as it is altman
and for a guilty pleasure film try center stage, although kinda hammy it does feature some interesting dance sequences
“The Red Shoes” of course!
Jeez what’s the matter with you people?
Killer’s Kiss has a great ballet scene.
Chaplin’s last film – wouldn’t you say that was, finally, about ballet?
“Limelight” yes. But his last film “A Countess From Hong King” is not about ballet.
Ritual in Transfigured Time (Maya Deren).
Never really paid much attention to it until I picked up Tales of Hoffman. Have to agree it’s a terrific production.
Thanks guys for all the recommendations!!! I will start watching all these…
In the mid-60s or thereabouts, on public television, I saw a “Salome” — a ballet I believe was based on the Wilde/Strauss opera. It was a French dance company. It was in black and white. It was stunning — the sets, the dancers, and, at the time, one of the most erotic visual experiences I had known. It showed up as a re-run the following year and I was just as entranced again.
A couple of years ago I spent an afternoon on Google trying to find it. No clue. Not even in archives or old newspapers. I began to wonder, did I dream this? Do any of you ballet people know at all what I’m talking about, and where I might go to track this down?
You mean there’s more ballet movies than The Red Shoes…obviously I’m not cultured enough to appreciate this subject matter.
Yuko: Nobody has mentioned BALLETS RUSSES yet— the Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller documentary from 2005. Interesting (up to a point) as history, and the footage from the Diaghilev days was especially intriguing. Among the things learned: that the ballet was always show biz first and high art second — if not for its workers, for its managers. But you have to like these old Russian ladies — or most of them — as they mine memories and come to life again (and some of them had never quit dancing).
Guy Maddin’s Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary is an adaptation of a ballet version of Dracula, and well worth looking up. Probably one of my favourite film versions of the Dracula story.
Late comer, i know…
But hey! I think Billy Elliot is a great ballet movie. Thanks to that movie I’ve started taking ballet classes. You should look into that.
As for mainstream ballet movies, Centersatge (yes, i did like it) and Save the Last Dance are not that bad…
The Red Shoes is an all time favorite. Watch it!
I wish more people would watch The Red Shoes. Whenever I recommend it they get turned off by the fact that its about ballet.
It begins and ends with The Red Shoes, but I also love Altman’s The Company.
And Center Stage is one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasure dance flicks.
Thanks, Dan. I was going to mention THE COMPANY. There’s also THE TURNING POINT, INVITATION TO THE DANCE and WHITE NIGHTS. It’s safe to say (I think) that very little measures up to RED SHOES or TALES OF HOFFMAN, however.
Of actual ballet, there’s a magnificent version of Prokofiev’s ROMEO AND JULIET … well, I love the music, so maybe I’m giving it extra points.
For families, Tales of Beatrix Potter is worth a gander. It’s an engaging filmed ballet not a great film like The Red Shoes.
- Satin rouge
- Béthune sur Nil
- Save the last dance
- The red shoes
I know some of these movies are not about ballet, but I really enjoy them. Looking forward to watching “Whatever Lola wants” by Nabil Ayouch.
I’m making a list of the 14 best ballet films so help me out if I missed any!
Iwai Shunji’s “Hana to Alice.”
Iwai’s loli-kon (lolita complex) tendencies aside, I do like the ballet scene in that movie.
Seconding Tales of Hoffman,Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary, Invitation to the Dance, White Nights since it has a nice ballet number and a sort of tap vs ballet showdown
and The Turning Point wasn’t bad although not my favorite
A few more;Black Tights (Dances choreographed by Roland Petit)An American in Paris has that big ending dance numberThe Goldwyn Follies has a couple of dances staged by Ballanchine, was shot by Toland and is amusing in a weird tongue in cheek wayNjinsky was at least interesting, if not spectacular. (It’s been years since I saw it.)Shall We Dance is about a ballet dancer, but the dancing isn’t exactly ballet styleThe Dancer Upstairs is interesting although it is more about a relationship with a ballet instructor than it is about dancing itself. It’s directed by John Malkovich though, so that might be interesting for some people.The Unfinished Dance was pretty good little film about ballet dancers
And if you want to include filmed versions of stage productions, there was an excellent Giselle although I’m not sure if it was the 1970 or 1974 one.
Oh, and Fantasia has ballet dancing hippos, so that’s gotta be worth something.