Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet
Director: Nils Tavernier

Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet
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Format:  DVD
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 40 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Released: October 21, 2003
  • Originally Released: 2002
  • Label: First Run Features
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.78
  • Interactive Features:
    • Scene Access
  • Text/Photo Galleries:
    • Photo Galleries
    • Director Bio
    • Trailer Gallery

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Featured: , &
Directed by
Narrated by
Screenwriting by
Produced by , &
Director of Photography: &

Entertainment Reviews:

New York Times - 11/08/2002
"...[The film] offers an insider's backstage view of the profession and its uncertainties..."
Box Office - 12/01/2002
"...Tarvernier's framing of graceful, sinewy strength bring to mind the paintings and bronze work of Degas..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/09/2003

Product Description:

ETOILES is a documentary written and directed by Nils Tavernier (son of director Bertrand Tavernier). The film focuses on the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet, one of the oldest and most rigorous ballet academies in existence, founded by Louis XVI, and producing some of the best dancers alive. The dancers, choreographers, teachers, students, and even the staff who work at the Ballet are captured in the film, weaving an intricate tapestry that shows the busy, demanding, and highly structured world in which these people live. The process of becoming a Paris Opera Ballet dancer is brutal, both physically and psychologically. Girls between the ages of 8 and 10 and boys between the ages of 9 and 11 begin at the Paris Opera Ballet's offshoot in Nanterre. There, they are trained by teachers who have been with the company for decades and who, often, are themselves graduates of the school. An annual exam determines whether the students graduate to the next level, and only a handful make the cut. Individual interviews with the adult dancers have them describe what dancing means to them, and many are at a loss for words, declaring it a way of life and the only thing they know. "Love is not the word," says one young woman, "it's something that devours you." Another explained that she contemplated being a nun, and instead became a dancer. Meanwhile the dancers furiously rehearse performances of Swan Lake, Maurice Bejart's Ninth Symphony, and La Sylphide. A beautiful film because of its music, its settings, its dances and dancers, ETOILES is a portrait of dancers who dedicate their lives to mastering a single art, while sacrificing practically everything else.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical Release Date: November 8, 2002 (NY)
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 120,056
  • UPC: 720229910866
  • Shipping Weight: 0.29/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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