BALLETS RUSSES | Pittsburgh City Paper


The "s" on the title is correct; Ballets Russes is a documentary by Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine that tells of the two dueling companies named the "Ballet Russe." Following the death of Serge Diaghilev, impresario of the legendary first Ballet Russe, the company was resurrected two years later by the notoriously difficult Colonel de Basil. When he fired Leonide Massine (in favor of George Balanchine), Massine started his own company, called the "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo," while Basil named his "The Original Ballet Russe." For the next 30 years these two battled for first place over several continents and, in the process, shaped the public's notion of what ballet -- and the ballet world -- was. With archival footage and interviews with the surviving dancers (most of whom are in their 90s), Ballets Russes is a breathtaking examination of the history and legacy of dance in the 20th century. Harris (TH)