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Ballet 422

This documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at the New York City Ballet

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Ballet 422

This new documentary from Jody Lee Lipes tracks the development of a new short ballet piece for the New York City Ballet. Lipes adopts the style of Frederick Wiseman, assembling the work from fly-on-the-wall footage shot throughout the creation process. (Intertitles help explain some of the ballet company's structure and personnel.) Thus, we see 25-year-old dancer/choreographer Justin Peck working with his principal dancers, coordinating with superiors and wearily traveling home on the subway. Costumers confer with dancers over fabrics; the in-house orchestra practices; the lighting team sets up their board; and there are many, many rehearsals. It's always interesting to see the creative process at work — particularly of a team — though those unfamiliar with ballet might wish for additional explanation. But for fans of ballet, this intimate work offers unprecedented access.

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