Director: Frederick Wiseman
Madman proudly presents La Danse - a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the prestigious real world that inspired Darren Aronofsky's ballet thriller, Black Swan.
La Danse is the culmination of the 12 months that celebrated documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman spent observing the world-renowned Paris Opéra Ballet - from administration and technical support, to the choreography, costume design, rehearsals and performances of some of the greatest ballets, including Rudolf Nureyev's The Nutcracker and Angelin Preljocaj's Medea. Through his ever-watching camera, Wiseman demonstrates his passion and respect for the business and artistry of dance.
In La Danse - Wiseman's 36th documentary in just over 40 years - he takes a voyeuristic fly-on-thewall approach to his subjects, removing himself completely from the picture and letting the unnamed experts flourish on screen. With unprecedented access, he explores all aspects of the ballet company, one of France's principal cultural institutions.
Ballet is enjoying a massive resurgence in popularity amongst many aspects of fashion, film and arts culture - with Vogue.com.au currently showcasing it as a major 'trend' and the National Gallery of Australia's major summer exhibition, Ballet Russes: The Art of Costume celebrating the centenary of the first Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Russian Ballet. Also, the upcoming spring/summer collection from Chloe designer Hannah MacGibbon is clearly influenced by the art of dance, featuring slippers, sweat pants and sheer skirts in neutral tones.
Stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis' portrayal of tortured ballet dancers in Black Swan have also captured the attention of critics and audiences alike - bringing it to the top of box-office lists around the world and netting it a sum total of five Academy Award® nominations. Similar to La Danse, the film plays out behind-the-scenes at a fictional New York City ballet company, and Portman and Kunis undertook months of intense training with some of the world's most renowned ballet performers to shape the accuracy of the production.