Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

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"The ballet movie we’re currently swooning over … Tanaquil Le Clercq was a woman of grace, talent, beauty and above all else an inspiration." – Jennifer Heyde, Marie Claire

“Mesmerizing, beautifully crafted … an extraordinary tale of struggle and survival.” – Godfrey Chesire,

"It is almost as though you are beholding mythological deities who have alighted briefly on the earth … one of the great ballerinas of the 20th century." - Stephen Holden, New York Times


Of the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. She mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike - her elongated racehorse physique became the new prototype for the great George Balanchine. The muse to both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, they loved her as a dancer and a woman. Balanchine married her and Robbins created his famous Afternoon of a Faun for “Tanny.” She was the foremost dancer of her day until it suddenly all stopped. At age 27, Tanny was struck down by polio and paralyzed. She never danced again. Nancy Buirski’s radiant film finds a tone to match Tanny’s exquisite dancing and long, lovely physique, well represented in photos, home movies and kinescopes. In addition to being a rich and compelling story of a dancer who can no longer dance and a muse who can no longer inspire, Buirski’s film is also a vivid portrayal of a world and a time gone by. In addition to the breathtaking photos and archival footage, Afternoon of a Faun also features interviews with those who knew Tanny, including Jacques D’Amboise and Arthur Mitchell. (Dir. by Nancy Buirski, 2013, USA, 91 mins., Not Rated, Kino Lorber) Digital



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