TrustMovies is no balletomaine, but he still would not have wanted to miss the recent documentary AFTERNOON OF A FAUN: TANAQUIL LE CLERCQ. Many of us older folk (maybe some younger, too) have heard Ms LeClercq's name bandied about in the dance world over the years, so it is good to now know just why that name, the rather amazing dancer/woman to whom it belonged, and her immense reputation remain so securely fixed in American ballet history. Part of the American Masters series via PBS, and one of the better of those films, the documentary received a critically-acclaimed theatrical release some time back and can now be streamed on Netflix, Amazon and elsewhere, or caught on DVD.
Nancy Buirski, the film grabs us from the outset, as we enter the world of ballet and George Balanchine (shown at bottom, left, with LeClercq), the name still most firmly associated with that art here in the USA. Jerome Robbins makes quite an appearance, as well, and as nasty and unpleasant a person as he is often said to have been, he comes across here as a man who was enchanted enough with Tanaquil to be able to actually be a genuine friend (with a little extra prodding now and then)..
Arthur Mitchell and Jacques D'Amboise (below) -- plus old friends of Tanaquil. Together they (with the help of the filmmaker) weave a fine portrait of this dancer who captivated audiences worldwide until... something very bad happened.