Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq
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Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq
Of the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. She mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike - her elongated, race-horse 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. (c) Kino Lorber
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It interviews friends and confidants, provides glimpses of what she was like as a person and, best of all, shows us clips of her dancing, which tell us so much of what we need to know."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"[A] strangely haunting, often heartbreaking new documentary."
‑ Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
"A hopelessly insular work [that] affirms the talent of its subject, but frustratingly fails to establish a cleanly delineated backdrop or emotional throughline for a general audience."
‑ Brent Simon,
""Here, in a few minutes of black-and-white footage, are a gaze, a touch, a few steps and a look out at the audience that create an unforgettable impression. ""
‑ Michael Wade Simpson,
"Illuminating, profound and poignant."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"A spooky, heartbreaking documentary about Tanny le Clercq."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"What's most fascinating about "Afternoon of a Faun" - and what the movie could spend more time delving into - is ballet's grueling and fleeting nature."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"A fascinating story of American ballet and one of the greatest ballerinas in the world."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, It's Just Movies
"[As Le Clercq falls to polio, director Nancy] Buirski digs up footage from the past of people encased in iron lungs or floating in nebulous wonderlands - outside-the-box visual cues that turn the film momentarily phantasmagoric."
‑ Matt Prigge, Metro
"While it does profile the work of brilliant dancer, the film also contains two complex and moving love stories as well an account of a physically devastating tragedy followed by an extraordinary tale of struggle and survival."
‑ Godfrey Cheshire,
"Mythic, indeed."
‑ Rick Nelson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Director Nancy Buirski not only is able to give rare insights into the dance world but a compelling tale of love, friendship and perseverance."
‑ Leba Hertz, San Francisco Chronicle
"Buirski easily affirms that the dancer's angular sensuality was but one aspect of her enduring creative power."
‑ Jonathan Kiefer, SF Weekly
""Afternoon of a Faun" brings to light Le Clercq's simultaneously depressing and inspirational story."
‑ Marc Mohan, Oregonian
More reviews for Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq on Rotten Tomatoes