HD - 2014 - French - 93 - Color


Agnes Letestu (original title)

A film by Marlène Ionesco

The film focuses particularly on the two last years in this prestigious institution. The story of this film takes us to the official farewell of Agnès Letestu with "La Dame Aux Camelias" by John Neumeier in the evening of October 10, 2013 at the Opera de Paris. From "Children of Paradise" to "La Dame aux Camelias" by choreographer José Martinez, this film captures the ultimate emotional and magical moments on stage, in rehearsals and backstage.The testimonies of major choreographers of our time such as W. Forsythe, Carolyn Carlson, Jri Kylian, Nureyev, Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Pierre Lacotte, and other stars like Jose Martinez, Stephane Bullion, Ghislaine Thesmaret bring a unique insight of Agnes Letestu. The film shows many extracts from classical and contemporary ballet: Cinderella and Swan Lake by Nureyev, The Prodigal Son by Balanchine, "Dances at a Gathering" by Jerome Robbins, “Signs” by Carolyn Carlson “Wound work” by Forsythe...In a long interview this extraordinary dancer opens up and gives us her past, present and future: a life devoted to dance.


Marlène Ionesco


My meeting with dance has been really a coincidence. Studying theater and film, a literary orientation to college, the passion of Russian cinema, Eastern Europe and artistic encounters have gradually paved the way in which I am still involved. Great minds such as Pierre Mac Orlan, Jean Giono and Paul Emile Victor convinced me that we own the key of our own freedom and life choices with all that it entails. My first film was therefore a personal choice, following a family conversation about a forgotten singer from another time: Damia, a great singer before the likes of Piaf - I decided to make a fictional paper on it. Then came the Opera with Carolyn Carlson and my second film emerged a few years later whilst I was working in stage directing. The film "Blue Marine" pushed me to follow this mysterious path, the continuity followed with the interaction with others, all with the confidence that dancers and choreographers gave me. The third film, dear to my heart, was another fictional paper on the theme of Isis and Osiris, the great Egyptian myth. And so was born the film "La Barque Sacrée. It was a beautiful and magical experience. Studio shot with Alekan Henri, poet Carolyn Carlson, Larrio Ekson, Yorma Yohnen in the lead roles. The screenplay was an immediate inspiration, something like an automatic writing. I had already had pictures materializing in my head. Lastly, I devoted my artistic pilgrimage to the portrait of ballet stars: Agnes Letestu - Dominique Khalfouni - Mathieu Ganio - Larrio Ekson. It is actually the parenthesis "Dream Othello" with Agnes Letestu and Larrio Ekson that made me decide to direct me to the portraits of ballet stars.

Marlène Ionesco

Original language: French
Produced by: Delange Production