Two dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet in 'La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet' (2009) Zipporah Films, Inc.
Two dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet in 'La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet' (2009) Zipporah Films, Inc.
La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (2009) Zipporah Films, Inc.

Presented by ACMI in association with Sydney Film Festival and NFSA

La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet

Frederick Wiseman | U.S.A., France | 2009 | PG

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ACMI Member



Sun 28 Aug 2022

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Frederick Wiseman reveals the on and off-stage dramas of one of the world’s great dance companies, in “one of the finest dance films ever made” (New York Times)

Superb, engrossing...manages to dissect both an institution and an art form with extraordinary skill and beauty.

Kate Stables, Sight and Sound

Screening includes a pre-recorded introduction by Hon. Associate Professor Jane Mills, School of the Arts & Media (UNSW)

This transfixing portrait immerses us in action with much time devoted to the renowned Paris Opera’s practice studios, as dancers rehearse for the upcoming season. Their tireless perfecting of technique and astounding talent is captured in thrillingly sustained takes. Pirouettes and jetés fill the screen, before the dancers pause, catch their breath, and start again. We become the privileged spectators of company performances of Nureyev’s The Nutcracker and Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydice, among others. As Wiseman invites us to experience the inner workings of dance, he also reveals the mechanisms necessary to maintaining this grand institution – which require inspired creativity of another kind.

Format: DCP
Language: English and French with English subtitles
Source: Zipporah Films, Inc.
Courtesy: Zipporah Films, Inc.
Runtime: 153 min

Event duration

153 mins



Infrequent coarse language


Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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It Takes Time: Ten Films by Frederick Wiseman

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Learn more

READ: The Art of Documentary No. 1
Lola Peploe, The Paris Review, Sep 2018

LISTEN: Legendary U.S. documentarian Frederick Wiseman
The Screen Show, Jun 2022

Frederick Wiseman by Adrien Toubiana

Get multipasses to this film program

3 session pass – $33–45
6 session pass – $66–84
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Two ballet dancers flying through the air - still from La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet
ACMI building exterior at night - Shannon McGrath

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