Many little girls go through a phase of wanting to become a ballerina. Dazzled by the sugar-spun tutus, the glittering tiaras, and the seemingly effortless grace of ballerinas floating across the stage, they see themselves in the spotlight.
Most of us go through a second phase, however. We discover that ballerinas are athletes in disguise, constantly training. Then, too, we may discover that we have two left feet. So we must get our ballet “fix” vicariously, and watching movies is a great way to do this. Here’s a rundown on some of the ballet DVDs in our collection.
Ballerina (792.8028 BAL) Profiles five ballet dancers whose onstage performances reveal no hint of the hard work and pain endured in the rehearsal studio. From Swan Lake to Romeo and Juliet, from the backstage studio to performing on stages around the world, we see the the sublime beauty of ballet, in all its grace and glory.
Prima Ballerina (792.8028 PRI) This documentary is a portrait of two contemporary Russian ballerinas, Svetlana Zakharova, of the Bolshoi Theater, and Ulyana Lopatkina, from the Mariinsky Theater. It includes interviews and excerpts from ballet classics. (It was made by the same people who created “Ballerina.”)
The Company (DVD COM) A behind-the-scenes look at the world of dance as seen through the eyes of a talented young dancer on the brink of success, this movie features real-life members of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.
Bringing Balanchine Back (792.8 BRI) Follow the New York City Ballet, led by Master in Chief Peter Martins, to the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, where ballet legend and NYC Ballet co-founder George Balanchine and others took their first ballet steps. Narrated by Kevin Kline.
Ballet Shoes (J DVD BAL) Three girls adopted by an explorer are raised as sisters. As each of the girls have their own dreams, they learn that in order to realize them, they must also keep their family together. While aimed at a teen audience, adults will enjoy this as well.
The Red Shoes (DVD RED) Made in 1948 and starring Moira Shearer as ballerina Victoria Page, this classic movie was responsible for many young girls falling in love with ballet.
Here is a trailer for “Ballerina.”