In Balanchine’s Classroom
IN BALANCHINE’S CLASSROOM takes us back to the glory years of George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet through the remembrances of his former dancers and their quest to fulfill the vision of a genius. Opening the door to his studio, Balanchine’s private laboratory, they reveal new facets of the groundbreaking choreographer: taskmaster, mad scientist, and spiritual teacher. Today, as his former dancers teach a new generation, questions arise: what was the secret of his teaching? Can it be replicated?
Filled with never before seen archival footage of Balanchine at work during rehearsals, classes, and in preparation for his most seminal works, along with interviews with many of his adored and adoring dancers and those who try to carry on his legacy today, this is Balanchine as you have never seen him, and a film for anyone who loves ballet and the creative process.
A press kit, stills, social media assets, jpegs of the poster, and Quicktime and DCP files of the trailer are available to download from our Exhibition DropBox.
BALANCHINE is a Trademark of The George Balanchine Trust
Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Connie Hochman was a professional ballet dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet where she performed many of George Balanchine’s masterworks. As a child in the 1960s, Connie trained at the School of American Ballet and danced alongside the New York City Ballet, with Balanchine at the helm. During these years, she witnessed a profound bond between the master and his dancer-disciples, which continued to inspire and fascinate her. Decades later, Connie's childhood memories of Balanchine, combined with a desire to understand more, led her on a mission to solve a mystery. What exactly happened in Balanchine’s classroom, where he developed the dancers and the dancing to serve his choreographic vision?
In 2007, Connie began a series of interviews with former Balanchine dancers - ninety in all – to explore the phenomenon of Balanchine’s classroom. Why did he teach and not just choreograph? What did he teach? How did he teach? How did his daily class relate to his choreography? Their remembrances of his unorthodox methods and transformative teaching form the basis of IN BALANCHINE'S CLASSROOM.
In addition to the oral histories, Connie launched an extensive search for visuals that would bring the story to life. She discovered a trove of never-before-seen archival footage of Balanchine in America. With approval from The George Balanchine Trust, Connie traveled around the country and to Europe to film Balanchine’s former dancers staging his ballets, teaching class, and passing on their knowledge to today’s generation.
As a first time filmmaker, Connie consulted with Louis Psihoyos (The Cove, Chasing Extinction), and Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine (Ballets Russes, The Galapagos Affair), each of whom offered guidance and helped her form the creative team behind IN BALANCHINE'S CLASSROOM.
“Critic's Pick!” – Teo Bugbee, The New York Times
“Just fascinating….beautifully done. A feast for the eyes and ears. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. And if you’re not interested in dance, all the more reason to watch IN BALANCHINE’S CLASSROOM.” – David Sterritt, Films in Focus
“An insightful film with brilliant historic dance footage and interviews that make you wish you had been there.” – Alice Alyse, LA Dance Chronicle
|Ryder Film Series||Bloomington||IN||NOW PLAYING ON KINO MARQUEE1633060800|
|Gene Siskel Film Theatre||Chicago||IL||NOW PLAYING1633060800|
|Cleveland Cinematheque||Cleveland||OH||NOW PLAYING ON KINO MARQUEE1633665600|
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|International Film Series||Boulder||CO||NOW PLAYING ON KINO MARQUEE1633665600|
|Downing Film Center||Newburgh||NY||NOW PLAYING ON KINO MARQUEE1633665600|
|Real Art Ways||Hartford||CT||NOW PLAYING IN THEATRE1634270400|
|Ambler Theater||Ambler||PA||NOW PLAYING IN THEATER1634270400|
|Alexander Film Society||Cloverdale||CA||NOW PLAYING @Home Arts1634270400|
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|Park City Film Society||Park City||UT||NOW PLAYING @Home Arts1634270400|
|The Loft||Tucson||AZ||NOW PLAYING @Home Arts1634875200|
|Rafael Film Center||Mill Valley||CA||NOW PLAYING1634875200|
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|Laemmle Theater||Los Angeles||CA||NOW PLAYING ON LAEMMLE'S VIRTUAL PLATFORM1634875200|
|Detroit Institute of Art||Detroit||MI||OCTOBER 29-31 IN THEATER1635480000|
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|Visulite Cinema||Staunton||VA||NOVEMBER 1 ONLY IN THEATER1635739200|
|SIFF CINEMA||Seattle||WA||NOVEMBER 5- 7 IN THEATER1636084800|
|Lines Vermont Studio||South Burlington||VT||STARTS NOVEMBER 6 IN THEATRE1636171200|
|Houston Cinema Arts Society||Houston||TX||STARTS NOVEMBER 111636347600|
|Court Square Theater||Harrisonburg||VA||NOVEMBER 10 - 14 IN THEATER1636520400|
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|Vancity Theater (Vancouver International FF)||Vancouver||BC||NOVEMBER 17 - 23 IN THEATER1637125200|
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