(TORONTO, ON) – For most of us attending a ballet or classical music concert, or even reading a theatrical review, is simple. Sit back and enjoy. You are witnessing the end result of some production or article that may have taken enormous amounts of time, effort, and sheer fortitude to produce.
Unfortunately, we forget and just take the end result for granted.
Considering the amount paid for admission, don’t feel too guilty.
Ballet 442 is a documentary that goes behind the scenes to chronicle the development of a new ballet by 25 year-old Justin Peck, who is also a dancer with the New York City Ballet; albeit in the lower tier Corps de Ballet, but recently promoted to solo dancer.
The symphony Paz de La Jolla is the music Justin is given to produce an entirely new ballet, which is NYCB’s 422th new ballet. He has two months to launch it.
Starting from nothing but the music, Justin crafts a complex ballet. There are countless scenes of choreographing and a tremendous amount of physicality shown by the dancers.
However, as witnesses, there is much more than dancing that Justin has to contend with.
He has to deal with lighting, costuming, the orchestra, public relations, and the all round people management required in any major production.
You may not be a fan of ballet, but this is a fascinating look of the mounting of a major production without any narration. It’s just the players playing.
Ballet 442 is a must-see for those who enjoy the performing arts, even if it’s just rock n roll. It’s a production that tells you like it is.
(Ballet 422, Jody Lee Lipes, Director, USA, 2014, 72 minutes, Opens 24 February 2015 in Toronto at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)