An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America, documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.
Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun (#2703H) Duration: 1:25:46 SRND51 TVPG
She was a dancer of uncommon style and beauty, full of candor, passion and humor, the love object of arguably the two leading 20th century choreographers working in America - the muse to both George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Balanchine married her and Robbins created his famous version of Afternoon of a Faun for her. She also inspired the great ballets Western Symphony, LaValse and Metamorphosis. Recognized as uniquely gifted - her vivacity, her unbelievably long legs, her sinuous figure, her theatricality and spirit - she was a ballerina of rare versatility. No one was thought to have a brighter future until it suddenly stopped. On a tour of Europe in 1956, Tanny was struck down by polio at age 27. In an iron lung with a dire prognosis, she never danced again. Balanchine devoted himself to her recuperation and, eventually, her personal tragedy became another kind of artistic triumph - paralyzed from the waist down and wheel chair ridden, her story is ultimately one of great courage and fortitude.
American Ballet Theatre: A History (#2803H) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG
Delve into the rich, 75-year history of one of the world's pre-eminent ballet companies. Ric Burns' documentary combines intimate rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances and interviews with American Ballet Theatre's key figures: artists pivotal to the company's formation, including Alicia Alonso and the late Donald Saddler and Frederic Franklin; contemporary luminaries, including dancers Susan Jaffe and Julie Kent, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky and artistic director Kevin McKenzie; past and present stars Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy, Marcelo Gomes and Hee Seo.
Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel (#2503H) Duration: 56:46 SRND51 TVPG
No ordinary writer and no ordinary woman --"Gone with the Wind" created two of the world's greatest lovers, Scarlett and Rhett, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and has sold more than 30 million copies. Born into Atlanta's upper crust in 1900, Margaret Mitchell challenged stifling social restrictions at every turn. A charismatic force to be reckoned with, she had a great sense of humor, was one of Georgia's first newspaper women and was extremely generous with the money she made from "Gone with the Wind." She struggled with the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans but also suffered from lifelong bouts of depression, until a tragic accident lead to her death in 1949. This film examines the amazing endurance of "Gone with the Wind" and reveals the seminal events of Mitchell's life through dramatic re-enactments based on her letters, as scenes from the movie weave together her life and her work.
A Fierce Green Fire (#2701) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG-V (Secondary audio: none)
This film is an exploration of the environmental movement - grassroots and global activism spanning 50 years from conservation to climate change. Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, this documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future - and succeeding against all odds. The film is directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.