'Ballet 422' (PG)

February 19, 2015 10:21 PM

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When we first see Justin Peck, the young dancer-choreographer at the center of Ballet 422, he’s another anonymous dancer amid the scores at New York City Ballet; sweating at the barre, one of a look-alike crowd criss-crossing the stage. The mystery — and it’s both a wonder and a frustration — at the heart of Ballet 422 is the rare creative spark inside someone who seems so much like everyone else. We see Peck’s relentless work process, the painstaking craft and near-endless details that go into creating a ballet. But Peck’s inspiration, the source of his talent, remain opaque.

Director Jody Lee Lipes is an adherent of classic cinéma vérité documentary, and so there are no interviews or narration in Ballet 422, just brief factual text between scenes. Lipes follows Peck’s journey in 2013, as the 25-year-old corps dancer and budding choreographer gets an unexpected chance to...

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