Virtually plotless, Belles and Ballet is a filmed record of France's celebrated Ballet L'Etoile. The "story" is ostensibly set during a rehearsal session, though the "realism" is somewhat compromised by the self-consciousness of the dancers. After Louis Cuny gets all of his tight close-ups and hand-held atmosphere shots out of his system, the film hunkers down to several superbly lensed ballet sequences. Included are pieces choreographed to the music of Rossini, Copland, and Villa-Lobos. Dance devotees of 1960 were drawn to Belles and Ballet principally due to the fact that the Ballet L'Etoile had not yet made an appearance in the United States.
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