21 October 2017 | Red-125
Rebels, but not rebellious enough
Rebels on Pointe (2017) was written and directed by Bobbi Jo Hart. The film is about the male dance company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. What makes the men in the company rebels is that they dance en pointe. In any other ballet company, only the ballerinas dance en pointe. The men dance beautifully, they lift and twirl the ballerinas, but they never dance en pointe.
The problem with Ballets Trockadero for me is that they are a comedy dance group. So, in essence, what they are saying is, "Yes, we dance en pointe. We can do this, but not for a serious ballet. We have to pretend to be clumsy and inept." I wish there were a male ballet company that danced en pointe, and looked beautiful and serious doing it. Apparently, that ballet company doesn't exist.
However, we can't be critical of the documentary because we don't like the concept of the subject of the movie. Director Hart does a good job getting us inside the ballet company, and showing us some of the performers as individuals, not just dancers. It's a documentary worth seeing, and it will work almost as well on the small screen.
We saw this film at Rochester's excellent Little Theatre. It was shown as part of the outstanding ImageOut, the Rochester LGBT Film Festival. Unless you are an intensely serious ballet fan, the movie deserves your attention.