Unearthing a dazzling treasure trove of archival footage, this video follows the birth of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the early 1930s.
What began as a group of Russian refugees who never danced in Russia became not one but two rival dance troupes who fought the infamous “ballet battles” that consumed London society before World War II.
These events led to years of exhilarating experiments, bitter artistic battles, and exhausting tours, eventually establishing modern ballet around the world. The documentary combines astonishing film footage of fantastical ballets and interviews with surviving ballet dancers in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.
The result is a breathtaking range of scholarship and depth of feeling. The heart of the film are the dancers themselves, who are sly, thoughtful, gossipy, and amazingly youthful in spirit, even the most difficult times are discussed with humour and honesty.
Ballet Russes is a must for any Ballet fan, while for those who have never even thought of going to ballet will be completely caught up in these dancers passion and wonder.