Sylvie Guillem joined the corps de ballet of the Paris Opera when she was just fifteen and earned the distinction of Prima Ballerina within a mere four years. At the age of nineteen, she became an étoile in Nureyev‘s “Swan Lake”. It shows her dedication to perfection, but also reveals that her meteoric rise to the pinnacle of her profession has left her refreshingly unspoilt. This film shows the prima ballerina in her daily round of classes, rehearsals and performances, revealing her dedication to perfection. Guillem’s preparation for Nureyev’s “Raymonda”, her first performances in Rudi van Dantzig’s “Four Last Songs” and William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated”, and her appearance at a gala, dancing Béjart’s “La Luna”, are all recorded for posterity in this film.
Sylvie Guillem is a dance superstar whose breathtaking technique ranks her beside the likes of Nureyev and Baryshnikov. She rarely agrees to interviews but co-operated fully with director Nigel Wattis for this profile. The programme centres on film of Guillem rehearsing and performing a range of pieces, both contemporary and classical, which display her astonishing virtuosity. Guillem talks about her work with some of the world’s most interesting and acclaimed choreographers. Her sharp intelligence and intimate knowledge of their work, as well as her insights into the world of dance, are fascinating and informative.
Maurice Béjart, Mats Ek, Anthony Dowell and critics John Percival and Clement Crisp are among the contributors who discuss Ms Guillem’s remarkable talent, career and personality.
“On stage, she is spectacular: as powerfully sensual as she is graceful and vulnerable. To dance like Guillem takes more than long legs and flawless technique. She is an artist who brings her own interpretation to a choreographer’s work.” The Independent