Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Company

This is, without question, one of Candice Handly's least favorite movies. It is, however, one of my most favorite.

I don't think many people have seen this. Robert Altman directed this, I think just before Prairie Home Companion. It's very Robert Altman-esque; no real story arc, kind of a rolling narrative based around a dancer (Neve Campbell) in the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. The ups and downs of her life (interspersed with side stories of the lives of other dancers in the company). She meets James Franco, a chef, and they kind of hit it off, and it's all very subtle and even keeled.

I really like this movie, though, if I'm being totally honest, I like it way more for the many many dance scenes than for Altman's storytelling.

The Joffery Ballet is heavily featured, doing tons of dancing. If you like dancing, or Robert Altman, put The Company on your list of movies to see (but make sure it's not the one made with Chris O'Donnell. I'm not sure what that one's about).

So, every fall the New York City Center does a program called Fall for Dance. James and I have gone for three years, I think it was one of the first things we did after we moved here. It's always really great, with this year not being the exception to that rule.

We went two nights, and saw two different programs; the Houston Ballet did Balanchine's pas de deux from "Swan Lake", which was awesome and traditional and so pretty.

Then there was a this cool piece to jazz music called "New 45" (which made Aaron puke. really, it did, he was sick, the dancing was great).

Then there was a piece called "Single Room", which was pretty awesome, in a cool, back lit, saxophone kind of way.

The second night we saw Jerome Robbins' "In the Night", performed by the San Francisco Ballet (Shiloh's favorite), Paul Taylor's "Esplanade" (which I know everyone likes, but I think is a little boring right up until that last bit, when the dancers just start throwing themselves around), and my personal favorite of the two nights, Twyla Tharp's "Sweet Fields", performed by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. It's all done to traditional Shaker music, and the dancers are all dressed in white. I loooooooved it. I could have watched it all night.

Oh, and we saw Twyla Tharp. She accepted the Jerome Robbins award so came out on stage before the performances.

It was quite a thrill.


  1. would you say that The Company has less suck than Center Stage or about the same?

  2. I went to Fall in to Dance (the OC version) last year and I was mostly underwhelmed. And the 80 year old in me was slightly shocked when a dancer took her top off and you could hear the audience collectively think "Is that a man or a woman? Oh...definitely a woman."

  3. Annie: I would say that The Company has significantly less suck than Center Stage. It's like comparing apples and apples with razor blades (but boring, poorly acted razor blades).

    Rachel: I remember reading your post about the OC Fall for Dance last year and thinking it was to bad you had a such a mediocre (and semi-nude) experience. I would encourage you to try again.

  4. Very good choice, Valerie. This movie is definitely one of my faves. The realism is so palateable.

    As for FITD, I'm jealous for the second year in a row. I really need to move.

  5. I beg to differ on your Center Stage comments. I, in fact, own this on DVD and find it to be a delightful and somewhat fantastic break from reality.

  6. My eyes still burn from the few moments I encountered Center Stage. I totally endorse the company. It's unfortunate that Valerie and I couldn't get tickets to the showing of Prairie Home Companion with Altman and Keillor fielding questions.