BALLET 422

"Appealing, Informative Documentary"

Quality: Content: -1 "CAUTION"
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

BALLET 422 is a documentary about a young choreographer who endeavors to direct his first major ballet for the New York City Ballet in just two months. BALLET 422 sometimes plays like snippets from the life of a ballet company, but it’s appealing, playful and informative and promotes hard work and empathy, though there is one expletive.

Review:

BALLET 422 is a documentary about Justin Peck, a choreographer for the New York City Ballet Justin Peck. At the young age of 25, Justin endeavors to direct his first major ballet for the New York City Ballet. Founded in 1948, the ballet company is one of the world’s foremost creative dance companies.
Justin began with the company in 2007. He was a member of the lowest rank in the NYC Ballet known as corps de ballet. Due to his work and success at the Choreographic Institute, he’s become a respected choreographer who’s been honored to create the only new ballet of the 2013 winter season. He has only two months to create the company’s 422nd ballet.
Justin decides to use three principal dancers of the ballet company and a host of other talented professional ballet dancers. He’s also chosen to create a ballet based on the music of classic musical theater. He records himself alone dancing in the studio and stops as needed to take notes.
Later, Justin works with the principal dancers, his assistant and eventually more dancers. Justin is the common thread between all the creative teams that have to come together for a successful production as he works with the wardrobe/costume, lighting, staging, and sound directors.
Justin works day and night through the kinks and problems with the dance moves, periodically giving feedback on costume designs. He is laid back, yet works meticulously to bring about a high quality ballet production.
One month before the show, a great deal of detail goes into making the costumes, from colors and fabrics to style and, finally, fittings. Meanwhile, the orchestra conductor passionately and vigorously runs through the final piece in the concert hall with his orchestra.
Two weeks before the show, there comes a point when Justin has to stop and address a pain he’s been having for some time but ignoring. A trainer works with him to address the issue, and the show continues. Eventually, the dancers rehearse the show on the actual stage.
One day before the premier, the conductor, Cameron Grant, speaks with Justin. He is an unsung hero throughout the ballet’s creation. He’s vital because he knows not only the music of the developing show, but also the heart and attitudes of the people, especially the orchestra, which Justin has neglected. Cameron senses the orchestra is disconnected from the overall excitement and wonder of such a young choreographer being given the opportunity to create a ballet for the renowned New York City Ballet. There’s an air of disenchantment from the musicians, though they continue to do their job. Cameron allows Justin a few seconds to address the orchestra and encourage them and validate their role and the importance of the music to the entire show. The orchestra shows their acceptance of Justin and his words by tapping their bows on their music stands.
It is finally Premier Day, and Justin looks at ease dressed in a suit for the show’s opening. He converses with people in the audience prior to show time. How will things turn out for him and the company?
BALLET 422 is appealing, playful and informative as it captures the process of putting together a ballet for a world-renowned company. The thread woven throughout every aspect of process is Justin Peck. The viewer follows the young choreographer on his history-making creative journey toward the completion of Ballet 422. The music is imaginative and carries the energy and message Justin and his dancers work tirelessly to convey. BALLET 422 gives an enlightening look into what goes into the making of a premier ballet. However, it does sometimes seem like a presentation of just snippets in the life of a quiet, laid-back choreographer. A couple funny moments occur when the conductor does a spirited run-through of the music with the orchestra. At the end of the run-through, the conductor’s hair seems to magically fall back into place. He also gives the orchestra kudos for a successful run-through but with very little change in his vocal inflection.
BALLET 422 has a light moral worldview. Justin, the choreographer, works with his dancers with dedication and patience. Also, the conductor shows empathy for his orchestra musicians. The movie does have at least one “s” obscenity in one scene when the dancers scurry to go onstage. However, BALLET 422 gives viewers an enlightening look into what goes into the making of a premier ballet production.

Content:

(B, L, N) Light moral worldview as young choreographer works with dancers and creative teams with patience and dedication; at least one “s” obscenity spoken by an unseen dancer backstage as the crew scurries about; no violence; no sex; upper male nudity during costume changes; and, nothing else objectionable.

In Brief:

BALLET 422 is a documentary about Justin Peck, a choreographer for the New York City Ballet. At the age of 25, Justin endeavors to direct his first major ballet. Founded in 1948, the New York City Ballet is one of the world’s foremost creative dance companies. Due to his work and success, Justin’s become a respected choreographer and has been honored to create the only new ballet of the 2013 winter season. However, he only has two months to pull the production together.
BALLET 422 is appealing, playful and informative as it captures the process of putting together a ballet for a world-renowned company. The music is imaginative and carries the energy that Justin and his dancers work tirelessly to convey. BALLET 422 has a light moral worldview. For example, Justin works with his dancers using dedication and patience. Also, the orchestra’s conductor displays some empathy for his musicians. The movie does have an “s” obscenity when the dancers scurry to go onstage. However, BALLET 422 gives viewers an enlightening look into what goes into the making of a premier ballet production.