01/28/15 9:00am
by |
01/28/2015 9:00 AM |
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

In NY Export: Opus Jazz (2010), one of this decade’s best New York City films, Jody Lee Lipes filmed the New York City Ballet as they danced the titular Jerome Robbins “ballet in sneakers” all around town, in stripped-down performances staged for the camera. For Ballet 422, which opens February 6, he again teamed with producer Ellen Bar, a former dancer and now the NYCB’s Director of Media Projects, for another intimate look at the company, this time with a focus on process. The film follows Justin Peck—then a 25-year-old member of the corps de ballet, now a soloist—as he choreographs and prepares a ballet for the company’s 2013 winter season. You can watch Ballet 422 twice in the time it takes to watch La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet once, but its 72 interview-free minutes are packed with engrossing glimpses of rehearsals, costume fittings, tech run-throughs, backstage downtime and patron gladhandling—all the component parts that go into assembling a ballet, here also assembled into a low-key narrative about art-making.