Parents' Guide to

Ballet 422

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Dance fans will love behind-the-scenes look at ballet.

Movie PG 2015 75 minutes
Ballet 422 Poster Image

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Tweens and teens with a love of dance (any kind of dance) will find find this movie fascinating. Ballet films and shows tend to feed audiences' baser instincts: They're usually full of resentment and jealousy, parents who push too much, or friends who don't understand why a boy would want to dance. But Ballet 422 is devoid of any melodrama ... or drama at all, for that matter. No one so much as raises an eyebrow at anything Peck says; the most pushback he gets is the conductor hesitantly saying yes when Peck asks to address the orchestra, or the head costume designer quietly reminding him that having such a diverse palette of costumes could take away from the uniformity of movement. Otherwise, there are no egotistical outbursts, and Peck himself is depicted as simultaneously intense and mellow. He's definitely got a vision, but he's not tyrannical about collaborating; he's quick to agree to a dancer's suggestion to change a move, for example, and he demurs from a patron's remark that his name is up there with Balanchine's and Robbins'.

For dance-loving audiences with patience and a fondness for insider information, Ballet 422 is a rare look at a young choreographer's role. Peck isn't a diva choreographer -- or at least he wasn't during the making of the film; he's since been promoted to a soloist position in the ballet and continues to be a sought-after choreographer for the City Ballet and other companies. He seems to know that he's a better choreographer than he is a dancer, and it's clear he dazzles ballet aficionados as a wunderkind choreographer in a way he doesn't as a member of the Corps. While Ballet 422's pace is a bit too slow and the story too observational for young kids to appreciate, older kids will enjoy it.

Movie Details

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