On and off the stage, ballerinas have played a multitude of roles, from courtesan to fashion icon, political pawn to international celebrity. But the details of their often complicated and challenging lives remain clouded. MacGibbon's two-part documentary first explores ballerinas' changing roles, beginning with 18th-century France and leading up to 20th-century America (Darcey' Ballerina Heroines), and then shifts focus to the life of one of these great female artists, ballerina Darcey Bussell (A Ballerina’s Life). Featuring archival film footage and interviews with some of the ballet world's movers and shakers, this documentary unveils the life behind the glittering performances and fancy costumes.
Photo: Darcey Bussell and Alytnai Aslmurt © Charlotte MacMillan
Alina Somova (Masha the Princess), Vladimir Shklyarov (The Nutcracker Prince), Alexandra Korshunova (Masha)... – Mariinsky Theater Ballet Company
Svetlana Zakharova (Nikiya), Vladislav Lantratov (Solor), Maria Alexandrova (Gamzatti) – Corps de Ballet of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia