Marius Petipa: The French Master of Russian Ballet
Dance • 52m
Directed by Denis Sneguirev • Documentary • 2019 • 52 minutes
Marius Petipa was an unlikely artistic revolutionary. A middling dancer, he bounced around European cultural centres until he finally washed up in St. Petersburg in 1847 at age 29 – hired, sight unseen, by the Imperial Ballet as a principal dancer. A skilled socialite, he curried favor with the right people and within a decade staged his first ballet: the massive epic The Pharaoh’s Daughter.
Petipa became successful, but it would be decades before he emerged as the groundbreaking choreographer whose style transformed ballet and spread from Russia to the rest of the world. Indeed, his contributions dominated the form for generations. It is no coincidence that for his final performance, Rudolf Nureyev chose a Petipa ballet.
MARIUS PETIPA: THE FRENCH MASTER OF RUSSIAN BALLET traces Petipa’s career from his early, crowd-pleasing choreography to the works that would become his masterpieces: Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Their stunning choreography and Tchaikovsky’s music elevated ballet for the first time to one of the world’s great art forms.
“A quick and enlightening dive into ballet history, and the dancing is worth rewinding for." —Amy Brandt, Point Magazine
Up Next in Dance
Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter
Directed by Greg Vander Veer • Documentary • With Martha Hill, Robert Battle, H.T. Chen • 2014 • 80 minutes
Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter reveals the little known story of Martha Hill, a visionary who fought against great odds to make contemporary and modern dance a legitimate art form in Ameri...
Momma Don't Allow
Directed by Karel Reisz & Tony Richardson • Documentary • With Chris Barber, Monty Sunshine, Pat Halcox, Ron Bowden • 1956 • 22 minutes
This lively Free Cinema short captures a night out at the Wood Green Jazz Club, where teenagers jive to trad jazz. Funded by the BFI Experimental Film Fund,...
No Maps on My Taps
Directed by George Nierenberg • Documentary • With Lionel Hampton, Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green, Howard "Sandman" Sims • 1979 • 59 minutes
The golden age of tap dancing spanned the first half of the twentieth century, but by the 1950s, the form fell to the likes of rock 'n' roll and modern dance. I...