Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

First Hit:  The opening dance scene sets the stage for telling the story of the amazing and short career of Tanaquil Le Clercq.

I love watching films that give the audience a focused view of someone that creates from the inside out.

Whether it’s intellectual creativity (See “Tim’s Vermeer”) or visual creativity, like we have here, I think these films are worth seeing. Tana’s performances are amazing. When she is lifted, she knows exactly when and how she will be place down and in knowing this makes the entire lift ethereal. You feel her fly.

Her relationships with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins are deeply explored and the angst that Jerome felt is very palpable. Seeing Tana dance on The Red Skelton show was so interesting because she made ballet so much more accessible to others. She also walked her own path.

Tragically, she was struck down with Polio early in her career. The film also shows how she re-engaged her career as a successful teacher.

Nancy Buirski wrote and directed this excellent little documentary.

Overall:  Well cut and edited documentary of some wonderful old footage of an amazing dancer.