The Company
  B R I E F   S Y N O P S I S    

A look at the world of ballet as only director Robert Altman could envision. With the complete cooperation of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Altman depicts the rigors of the daily work and performances, the richly textured behaviors of the dancers, and the sheer beauty of dance: exhilarating, kinetic and thrillingly observed. It's a love letter to artists who work in this singularly difficult and universally expressive medium, to the people who make the performance possible, and to dance itself. Neve Campbell, James Franco and Malcolm McDowell star.

f e e t

Once, when I was a teenager, coming home after a hike of some kind, I complained to my mother that my 'feet hurt.' She told me it was very déclassé to say that. "One must say, 'My foot hurts' but never, 'my feet hurt.'"

"What if both feet do hurt?" I asked.

"Well," she answered, "One would say 'My left foot hurts, and so does the other one' I suppose."

In the early '80s in Paris I had a brief friendship with the great dancer, Rudolf Nureyev. He invited me to a performance he was giving with the Merce Cunningham Company, I believe. I was invited back to his dressing room after the performance. I remember, he was sitting there un-binding his right foot. I was embarrassed because I couldn't disguise my horror at the sight of this foot. It looked like a gnarled knot on an old tree trunk. He winced as he continued to peel off the bloody bandages. My God, his foot must have hurt.

This last year, I spent many months with the Joffrey Ballet Company, filming them practicing, rehearsing and performing. Sorry, Mom. Their FEET hurt.

–Robert Altman


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