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

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is the mythic resonance of her story that makes it a worthy subject a documentary. But it is the down-to-earth human touches that make "Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq" worth watching."
‑ Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic
"LeClerq, who lived her later years with a fierce independence, died in 2001; in this thoughtful, quiet film, she lives on."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"A beautiful tribute to a rare artist with an even rarer spirit."
‑ Daniel Walber, Nonfics
"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,
""Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq" presents enough teasing glimpses into the dancer's personal and inner life to demand a fuller picture."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Globe
"Afternoon of a Faun is primarily the story of a woman loved, desired, objectified and watched by men."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Globe and Mail
"As tragedy of the woman whose whole life was the hothouse of the dance -- including narrating her wistful, matter-of-fact letters and journals during treatment -- the doc exploring the myth of Le Clercq will be a balletomane's delight."
‑ Nathalie Atkinson, National 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
"This 2013 profile of famed ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq divides its running time between biographical information and synopses of creative achievements, but it doesn't aspire to anything more than the sum of its parts."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"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
"Reminds us what the ballet world had for a time."
‑ Jean Lowerison,
"Buirski easily affirms that the dancer's angular sensuality was but one aspect of her enduring creative power."
‑ Jonathan Kiefer, SF Weekly
More reviews for Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq on Rotten Tomatoes