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Invitation to the dance

The documentary Ballet 422 offers a behind-the-scenes look at the development and production of the New York City Ballet’s 422 nd original ballet, the only new one of 2013, as choreographed and directed by Justin Peck, the only current member who is also a choreographer.

As directed by Jody Lee Lipes, who also photographed the film with Nick Bentgen, Ballet 422 is respectful but also maintains an overly respectful distance. Despite the two-month schedule Peck must follow, the film progresses in a steady but matter-of-fact manner. The cameras occasionally capture the sensuality and sheer physicality of the dancers, but the audience doesn’t really get to know them. Ballet buffs may get a kick out of the film, no pun intended, and it appears that is the specific audience for whom it’s intended.

Peck goes on about his business, as does conductor Andrews Sill (whose introductory scene crackles with an energy the rest of the film lacks), but we don’t get to know much about them, either. The film concludes with highlights of the production’s opening night, which appears to have gone well and been well-received.

And that, pretty much, is that.

Ballet 422 is scheduled to open Friday at a/perture cinema, Winston-Salem and March 20 at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema, Greensboro !

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