Film of Red Palette Pictures

Film

"An affectionate and often funny portrait celebrating 50 years of a wonderful yin and yang partnership in classic ballet and married life."

Clive Barnes, Dance and theater critic, The New York Post
Happy To Be So

Happy to be So is a documentary about Oleg Briansky and Mireille Briane, former principal dancers, renowned ballet teachers, and a dynamic duet for more than 50 years.

Briansky, of White Russian descent, and Briane, a Parisian, met in Paris. He was a principal dancer of many established European ballet companies and hailed as “the most sought after male dancer in the world” by Ballet magazine in the 50s. She was a principal dancer in Bordeaux and “a born teacher.” In 1963, Briansky’s meteoric career was cut short by injuries. Soon after, the couple relocated to New York and established the Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center, one of the most distinguished summer ballet academies in America and abroad.

Happy To Be So

Happy to be So depicts the Brianskys as performers and narrators of their own life story, highlighted by exciting footage from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Piano music from ballet class weaves throughout the film as the score of their lives. The documentary honors these two people whose personalities have complemented each other — a couple that continues to work and is still vibrant with creativity, curiosity and humor.

Documentary, English, 46 min. 2009, new version 2012

Awards

Screenings

Production Team

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER

Yelena Demikovsky more »
Yelena

Award-winning documentary and narrative filmmaker with a broad theatre background, Yelena Demikovsky grew up in Russia during the Cold War. After getting her Master's degree at Moscow Theatre Academy, she was offered an Associate Professor position at the same academy where she taught acting and directing.

Yelena moved to America in 1992 and went to Emerson College in Boston, MA where she got her second Master's in Communication, TV and Video production. She made her first documentary on the history of Orthodox Church in America while still in Boston and the film went to distribution.

After moving to New York in 1995 she directed plays in various theatres and then moved on to mostly dedicating herself to film. She directed a few award-winning documentaries and short narratives and has been writing scripts.

Demikovsky has produced two symposia on ballet star Rudolf Nureyev — one in New York (1997), the other in St. Petersburg, Russia (1998). She also contributed interviews and translations to four authors of Nureyev biographies.

CAMERA

Yelena Demikovsky more »
Yelena

Award-winning documentary and narrative filmmaker with a broad theatre background, Yelena Demikovsky grew up in Russia during the Cold War. After getting her Master's degree at Moscow Theatre Academy, she was offered an Associate Professor position at the same academy where she taught acting and directing.

Yelena moved to America in 1992 and went to Emerson College in Boston, MA where she got her second Master's in Communication, TV and Video production. She made her first documentary on the history of Orthodox Church in America while still in Boston and the film went to distribution.

After moving to New York in 1995 she directed plays in various theatres and then moved on to mostly dedicating herself to film. She directed a few award-winning documentaries and short narratives and has been writing scripts.

Demikovsky has produced two symposia on ballet star Rudolf Nureyev — one in New York (1997), the other in St. Petersburg, Russia (1998). She also contributed interviews and translations to four authors of Nureyev biographies.

Hassan Kamel

EDITOR

Fatima Benbrahim more »
Fatima Benbrahim

Born in Morocco, Fatima Benbrahim was editor of Red Palette Pictures shorts Shell and Through The Door as well as the documentaries Happy To Be So and Vera. An Intimate Sketch.

Her experience working for various international television stations — PBS/WNET Thirteen, TV5, France 2, France 3, Al-Jazeera, MBC, Abu Dhabi TV and Morocco’s 2M TV — and renowned film directors has given her universal exposure. She has worked in many formats and editing systems

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Brian Singh