Watched on a CX flight to Shanghai. Nov 2016. I think.
Madam and the Dying Swan is about one of my favourite forms of movement – ballet. It’s about the founder of the Royal Ballet, Dame Ninette de Valois, about how she danced the 3+ minute solo that Anna Pavlova danced, a dance that is almost all done en pointe, and how she waited years until she saw a dancer she deemed worthy to pass the dance on to – Marguerite Porter. The footage of Madam teaching Porter the dance is so very rare – the preservation of memories through technology is quite something (although these days, I find technology a hindrance to memories – so many people are so insistent on capturing what goes on via technology, they forget to actually experience it).
The film ends with Porter teaching Marianela Núñez the same solo. Like Madam before her, Porter waited years before she saw a dancer worthy of the Dying Swan. And watching Núñez dance it, all three and a half minutes of it, is just the most beautiful thing ever.
I love the ballet, and this little documentary is testament to this great art form. A really beautiful film <3