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Friday, Jan. 4, 2008
By MIZUHO AOKI
Directors: Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine
A documentary tracing the rise and fall of the fabled dance company originally made up of Russian refugees in Europe, "Ballet Russes" mixes 1930s footage with still photos and interviews with surviving performers (many still dancing in their 80s and 90s). We see the troupe's revival after the death of impresario Sergei Dyagilev in 1929 and its pre-World War II glory days with choreographers George Balanchine and Leonide Massine. Chronological sketches of the troupe's history grate slightly, but the film glows when the venerable dancers are on screen.