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'La Danse'

November 26, 2009

Bodies in motion tend to remain in motion, but almost never with the heart-stirring beauty and grace on view in Frederick Wiseman's exceptional portrait of the Paris Opera Ballet, "La Danse." It's a film that takes you inside the essence of dance in such an intense way that if you don't already swoon over this art form, you'll wonder what took you so long. To be so close to these performers is to understand what makes ballet such an elevated form of human activity. Choreographer Maurice Bejart defined a ballet dancer as "half nun, half boxer," and it is the triumph of Wiseman's method, and this film, that it shows exactly what Bejart meant.

-- Kenneth Turan

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