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By Patricia Boccadoro

NEW YORK, 8 JULY 2008 — A retrospective of the films of the distinguished French film maker, Dominique Delouche, is to be held at Lincoln Center as part of the festival this summer. Between Wednesday July 23rd and Sunday July 27th, ten of his films will be presented, including the delightful Violette and Mr B, which features the exquisite French ballerina, Violette Verdy.

Verdy, one of George Balanchine's favourite ballerinas who joined the New York City Ballet and inspired him to create such outstanding works as Emeralds and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, is shown coaching several international stars, in her own inimitable exuberant way, in the roles she made famous. But although sequences with Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre, and Margaret Illmann and Vladimir Malakhov form part of the film, the video does concentrate on Paris Opera étoiles, Elisabeth Maurin, Isabelle Guérin, and Nicolas Le Riche. Guérin and Le Riche are also shown in Robbins' Dances at a Gathering and In the Night, two ballets that he, also, created for her.

Serge Peretti; le dernier Italien, Markova: la légende and Une Etoile pour l'example devoted to the French ballet legend, Yvette Chauviré, are just three of the films demonstrating Delouche's dedication to the process of preserving tradition and passing on dance roles from one generation to the next at the Paris Opera Ballet, the company he has followed and adored from boyhood. The 91-year old Peretti was filmed coaching Emmanuel Thibault amongst several other promising young principals; Markova, at the age of 90 is passing on her knowledge of ballet roles going back to the Ballets Russes to étoile Elisabeth Platel, (now director of the Paris Opera school), while Chauviré, elegant and glamorous as ever at 70, (the documentary was made in 1987), is seen coaching the then current galaxy of étoiles.

From left: Yvette Chauviré with Sylvie Guillem in
Yvette Chauviré: A Star by Example / Yvette Chauviré: Une étoile pour l'exemple
Directed by Dominique Delouche, France, 1987; 81m
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dominique Delouche
Photo courtesy of Film Society of Lincoln Center

Last come two other interesting films, Maia, on the legendary Plisetskaya, who dominates the film, made to her wishes throughout and so perhaps less successful than the enchanting, Katia and Volodya, made some ten years earlier and filming the sublime Ekaterina Maximova with her stage and life-time partner, Vladimir Vassiliev, one of the greatest dancers to have graced the Bolshoi stage. The interviews of these superstars were filmed in Moscow and Paris and reveal their day to day life as well as with excerpts of wonderful dance performances. That alone is a documentary not to be missed.

Patricia Boccadoro writes on dance in Europe. She contributed to The Guardian, The Observer and Dancing Times and was dance consultant to the BBC Omnibus documentary on Rudolf Nureyev. Ms. Boccadoro is the dance editor for

Dominique Delouche: Ballet Cineaste
23 - 27 July 2008

Walter Reade Theater
Lincoln Center Plaza
165 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues
New York, NY 10023
Tel: (1) 212 875 56 00

Film Society of Lincoln Center Web Site

Lincoln Center Festival Web Site

Related Culturekiosque Archives

The Bolshoi in Paris: An Interview With Alexei Ratmansky

Dance Films: The Transmission of a Legacy

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