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Steps of the Ballet

About the film

The first half of 'Steps of the Ballet' demonstrates various ballet steps, and the process of staging a show. The second half is a short ballet showcasing these techniques.

Details

Release year
1948
Director
Muir Mathieson
Production company
Crown Film Unit
Producer
Alexander Shaw
Cinematographer
A.E. Jeakins
Composer
Arthur Benjamin
Narration
Robert Helpmann
Editor
Jocelyn Jackson
Sound recording
F.C. Arnaud
Performers
Gerd Larsen, Alexander Grant, Gordon Hamilton, Elaine Fifield, Michael Boulton, Michael Bayston, Jeanne Artois, Peter Wright, Moyra Fraser, Leila Russell
Running time (minutes)
24 mins 07 secs
Choreography by
Andrée Howard
Decor and Costume
Hugh Stevenson
Art Director
Scott MacGregor
Unit Manager
Tina Peters
Assistant Director
Leon Clore
Camera Operators
Ken Reeves, Noel Rowland
Continuity
Pamela Turle
Scenery Painted by
Edward Delany
Production Manager
Henry Geddes
Ballet Mistress
Joan Harris
Music Played by
Philharmonia Orchestra of London
Music Recorded by
Ken Cameron

Original Description

'This films deals with the creation of a ballet. The basic positions, movements and steps are demonstrated. The dancers’ steps are explained by Robert Helpmann, famous ballet dancer and choreographer. The film ends with the presentation of a new ballet to show how the arts of dancing, music and painting join together in its creation.'
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1948)

Trivia

  • Both Robert Helpmann and Peter Wright would go on to receive knighthoods after Steps of the Ballet was made; Helpmann in 1968 and Wright in 1993.
  • Sir Peter Wright was Artistic Director of the Sadler Wells Ballet when it moved to Birmingham and became the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He was appointed Honorary Director Laureate upon his retirement in 1999, and is still active in the ballet world, producing a version of the Nutcracker in December 2011.