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Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Nancy Buirski

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About the Movie

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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 29
  • Fresh: 26
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: It offers hardheaded commentary about the rigors of a dancer's life and how everyone who chooses a dance career is aware of its brevity. – Stephen Holden, New York Times, Feb 4, 2014

Fresh: A spooky, heartbreaking documentary about Tanny le Clercq. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, Apr 4, 2014

Fresh: 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, Apr 10, 2014

Fresh: Even in a wheelchair, Le Clercq, who died in 2000 at age 71, commands authority with little more than her captivating, wicked smile. – Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice, Feb 4, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

close to home

I have been a member of nycb orchestra for 36 years. It has been a pure joy. This is extremely finely done story that touches on many people I know or knew , and is heartbreaking but overarching portrayal of a young woman stuck down in her prime, after a ballet is created for her in which the main character suffers a similar fate. A coincidence of metaphysical dimension dealt with with supreme grace, dignity, and the highest courage imaginable. A beautiful movie, I will never play La Valse (which I performed last night in Lincoln CEnter quite the same way. Sublime !

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq
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Customer Ratings