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Ballet Adagio

Ballet Adagio

| 9 min

This short film by Norman McLaren is a slow-motion study of the pas de deux adagio, one of the most exacting dances of classical ballet. A ballet originally choreographed by the Russian ballet master Asaf Messerer is performed for this film by the internationally known Canadian pair David and Anna Marie Holmes, to the music of Albinoni's Adagio.

  • director
    Norman McLaren
  • animation
    Norman McLaren
  • producer
    Norman McLaren
  • photography
    Jacques Fogel
    Douglas Kiefer
  • sound
    Ron Alexander


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Ages 14 to 17

Arts Education - Dance
Family Studies/Home Economics - Relationships
Health/Personal Development - Healthy Relationships

Consider the film’s “bareness”– costumes, stage, music, slow-motion photography. What purpose does it serve? How is the “pas de deux” a metaphor for partnership and relationships? Have students perform simple movements using balance to hold poses; try other activities in partners using balance or weight-bearing. How do these activities require trust? Discuss how dance portrays aspects of femininity/ masculinity. Create art using themes of balance, symmetry, contrast. Compare with McLaren’s other film, “Pas de deux”.

Ballet Adagio
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