Review: ‘Of Heart and Courage: Bejart Ballet Lausanne’

Not the straightforward tribute to a famed ballet company and its founder one might expect.

Not the straightforward tribute to a famed ballet company and its recently deceased founder one might expect, Arantxa Aguirre’s “Of Heart and Courage” finds a compelling narrative hook in the high-pressure transitional moment as succeeding artistic director Gil Roman prepares the Bejart Ballet Lausanne’s first, crucial post-Bejart program. Accomplished docu is a natural for artscasters and looks good enough on the bigscreen to tempt specialized arthouse distribs.

Selected by his mentor to lead the company onward — and not just as a vehicle for Bejart repertory — Roman is well aware of the dauntingly large shoes he’s expected to fill. His own choreography, as well as leadership, must prove worthy to secure the future of a beloved institution hitherto unimaginable without its founder’s active guidance. Daringly, Roman chooses to prove his mettle by staging BBL’s first-ever bill sans any Bejart works. We glimpse rehearsals and other behind-the-scenes aspects, with dancers past and present interviewed. New dances excerpted look exciting, though disappointingly, we don’t hear public/press response after the climactic gala. Bejart himself is heard on archival tape and seen in stills, but the focus here is very present-tense. Packaging is first-rate.

Of Heart and Courage: Bejart Ballet Lausanne

Spain

Production

A Latido Films presentation of a Lopez-Li production. (International sales: Latido Films, Madrid.) Produced by Jose Luis Lopez-Linares. Executive producers, Massimo Saidel, Malte Ollroge. Directed by Arantxa Aguirre.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Carlos Carcas; editor, Sergio Deustua. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (noncompeting), Sept. 6, 2009. Bejart Ballet Lausanne. French, English, Spanish dialogue. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Gil Roman, Corps de Bejart Ballet Lausanne.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading