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Unless you've been involved in a dance performance, or any kind of show at all, it is difficult to imagine all of the behind-the-scenes work it takes to put something on the stage. There are the practices and the exhaustion, the staging and the conceptual work therein, the dress rehearsals and the last-minute costume details to sort out, all of which make it seem like the show just might never happen. But then it does — and it's over before you know it. Such is the up-and-down life of a ballerina, and in La danse — Le ballet de l'Opéra de Paris, a documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman, we see seven ballets brought to the stage by the Paris Opera Ballet. In French with English subtitles, this film showcases the classical dance form in all of its loveliness and documents the collaboration necessary in presenting a stellar concert to the public. La danse is screened as part of the Webster Film Series at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (February 12 through 14) at the Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries). Tickets cost $5 to $6.
Feb. 12-14, 2010

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