The Ballet Life On Screen

Most ballet movies get it wrong about what life is like in a company, writes Joan Acocella. “The fact is that most young ballet dancers are no more obsessive, work no harder, and have no less chance of being hired by world-class companies than other young people training for a career in the classical performing arts. Nor do most modern ballets look ethereal; they are often crotchy affairs dressed in spandex and set to rock music. But in general, people don’t know about ballet from seeing it. People know about ballet from the movies.”