Unrealistic


In the real world, Leslie Browne's character would have gotten a major repremanding after her drunk episode. No ballet company, ESPECIALLY the premier ballet company in America, would tolerate those kind of antics for one bit. They are extremely strict.
If you are a corps member, and your leg is not matching the height of the person's leg in front of you, you get yelled at. So imagine the trouble you get in when you're drunk and messing up the entire scene!
This scene pissed me off.

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Yes, you are correct, of course- but it was still quite funny!

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I think you are probably right - but notice how sloppy the corps is (are?) is several of the dancing scenes. Lots of legs not matching!

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The American Ballet Theatre was infamously sloppy in the 1970's - their unison on dance numbers was always terribly ragged.

Regarding the drunkeness of the Emilia character - there was a great deal of drug and alcohol abuse among dancers during that era. Leslie Browne herself had well publicized problems with drug abuse, as did dancer Patrick Bissell, who eventually died of an overdose. Gelsey Kirkland was another of that particular generation who had a lot of trouble with booze and drugs.

All these dancers were known to go onstage bombed. It wasn't that unrealistic in the film at all - except that we aren't shown the dancer being reprimanded. In the book she away with it because it was a summer matinee, the bigwigs weren't present, sentiment about her being Deedee's daughter and Emma's protege, etc.

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I couldn't have said it better.

GAWD - I remember all those "tizzies" the Company was thrown into because of the drug addictions of the star members.

In a Perfect World, the dancers get yelled at and then behave.

In the REAL WORLD, the dancers' addictions are "tolerated" because of their box-office pull.

I remember Bissell - and his coke problem.

Something about him wanting to be perceived as "str8" in the world of ballet, something about him and Gelsey being genuinely in love with each other.

If Gelsey was the original choice for Amelia (although wouldn't she have been TOO OLD?), it makes sense that the grande dame character of Emma would have overlooked her abuse issues.

"Don't call me 'honey', mac."
"Don't call me 'mac'... HONEY!"

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Love the dancing in the movie, but parts of it were unrealistic. I could never believe that any first-season corps de ballet dancer, no matter how gifted and well-connected, would have principal parts showered on her like confeffti. Liked watching Browne, though.

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Have to agree. The filming of the dance moves was outstanding but the storyline unmoving and phony. I was oddly attracted to Anne Bancroft in this though.

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I went to tons of ABT performances in the '70s, and the corps danced then as if they'd just met each other ten minutes before curtain. But the "superstars" were the dancers most people came to see. I don't know what it's like now, but the draw was not ballet, but the principal dancers. There were some awesome dancers in the company back then! :-)






"Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"

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I went to tons of ABT performances in the '70s, and even danced as a supernumerary in some of them. The corps de ballet was excellent. The draw to see ABT was definitely ballet.

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