"A perfect complement to Ballets Russes!" - Ronnie Scheib, Variety
New Los Angeles Date
A Portrait of Five Exceptional Russian Ballerinas
Opens at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater in Los Angeles on April 17, 2009
First Run Features is pleased to announce the Los Angeles premiere of BALLERINA, Bertrand Normand's beautiful portrait of five ballerinas from Russia's renowned Mariinsky Theatre, (formerly known as the Kirov). These premiere dance artists leap from rehearsal halls to international stages as they re-invent classical ballet and enchant audiences worldwide in this "surprisingly intimate portrait of what it means to be a ballerina" (Time Out New York).
The Kirov Theatre has produced many of the world's finest choreographers and dancers including Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikael Baryshnikov, and Natalia Makarova. Now, The Mariinsky Theatre, under the artistic direction of the legendary Valery Gergiev, brings us to a new generation of rising stars: Alina Somova, Svetlana Zakharova, Diana Vishneva, Ulyana Lopatkina and Evgenia Obraztsova - tough, insightful and exceptionally talented women, each with her own personal hopes, dreams and career-changing challenges. From leaving school to coming-back from a crippling injury, their journeys reflect unique components of the ballerina's experience.
Weaving intimate interviews with rehearsal studio footage, BALLERINA also shows scenes from famous ballets such as Marius Petipa's Paquita, Swan Lake and La Bayadère, as well as George Balanchine's Diamonds, Michael Fokine's Schéhérazade and Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet. This distinctive documentary captures the sublime beauty of the ballerina in all her glory, and reveals the country where she still shines - Russia, the land of the ballerina par excellence.
Bertrand Normand was born in 1972. Before devoting himself to film, Normand studied business management in Paris, Oxford and Berlin. Following that, he lived in the Philippines, fulfilling his military service requirement as the audio-visual attaché to the Ambassador of France. At age 25, he attended the Vancouver Film School in Canada where he directed his first films. When he returned to France, he studied at the Studio Jack Garfein. Normand has directed short films as well as three documentaries, and is currently working on a new documentary about the historical reconstructions of the Napoleonic era in Russia.
Praise for Bertrand Normand's BALLERINA
"Enchanting… a chronicle sure to mesmerize anyone with an obsession for the relentlessly rigorous, conventlike world of classical ballet." - Heidi Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
"Ballet lovers should adore." - Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times
"Dance aficionados will be sent over the moon by this compelling documentary."
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
*Critic's Pick! "A striking lesson in ballet's rigorous aesthetic alchemy."
- Michelle Orange, The Village Voice
"Even folks who don't know their right foot from their left will find inspiration in the lives of these devoted dancers." - V.A. Musetto, The New York Post
"A surprisingly intimate portrait of what it means to be a ballerina." - Gia Kourlas, Time Out NY
80 Minutes, Color, 2006
Digibeta, stereo, 4.3 ratio
A film by Bertrand Normand
English Narration, Russian dialogue w/English Subtitles
Voice over Diane Baker
Camera Bertrand Normand Franck Laniel Isabelle Saunois Edward Oleschak Igor Yurov Alexandre Filipov Frédéric Podetti Dominique Collin Thierry Maisonnave
Editing Antonela Bevenja Sound editing Sandrine Henchoz
Mixing Raoul Fruhauf Additional sound Victor Smirnov, Cyril Moisson
Produced by Frédéric Podetti, Yann Brolli
An Adesif Productions / Les Films du Tamarin co-production
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SCREENERS ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST BY CONTACTING Kelly.Hargraves@firstrunfeatures.com