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Founding Fathers, Visionary Vignettes
DANCE FILM | Lorna Irvine

Founding Fathers, Visionary Vignettes

Dance asks much of its spectators: there is a need for the intellectual side to work in tandem with the visceral. Which is why Yorke Dance Project's glorious film Dance Revolutionaries is a triumph from top to bottom—it's a feast for the senses. Filmed in various locations during the pandemic, there is as much to sate the casual dance fan as an aficionado. Director David Stewart has created a multifaceted work.

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A Hero's Journey
DANCE FILM | Karen Greenspan

A Hero's Journey

Some stories take hold of you and just will not let go. The film Call Me Dancer tells such a story—the true-life story of Manish Chauhan, a Mumbai street dancer, who nurtures the dream of becoming a ballet professional against daunting odds.

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Revival: A Meditation on Aging, Dance, & Community
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Karen Hildebrand

Revival: A Meditation on Aging, Dance, & Community

In spring of 2017, Ellen Graff, Stuart Hodes, and Marnie Thomas Wood, all former members of the Martha Graham Dance Company, and Tony award-winning Broadway choreographer George Faison, set out to make dances for a group of older adults, many of whom had never performed onstage. Josefina Rotman Lyons, an older dancer herself, volunteered to film the project. The resulting documentary, “Revival,” is an honest and engaging take on what it’s like to dance in later life. Now available for streaming at Revivaldocumentary.com, the film won jury and audience awards when it made the rounds of film festivals. At a...

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The Art of the Short Film
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Lorna Irvine

The Art of the Short Film

As we blink from the stupor of the near-hibernation of New Year and slowly come around to (supposedly) changing seasons, Northern Ballet have provided some incredible work on film to watch as storms batter the United Kingdom. Here is a round up of some of the most interesting ones to catch online. The artistry is superb, inventive and all have completely distinct visions in their ouevre.

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A Holiday Gift
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Ilena Peng

A Holiday Gift

The “Nutcracker” has a way of feeling magical year after year. But something new is always welcome—especially as the ballet has long perpetuated cultural stereotypes. In “The Gift,” Boston Ballet drastically reinterprets the “Nutcracker,” and in doing so, proves that the ballet’s holiday magic extends beyond just its storyline and costumes.

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Care
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Lorna Irvine

Care

It may seem strange for all of the supposed progress being made in understanding medical matters that there is still a societal stigma in how we lean into issues around mental health in 2021. Creating an effective discourse around it, in order to normalise it, is incredibly important. Art is a great platform for tackling big issues, such as depression and anxiety. Dance, then, can express with bodies something that can be hard to say out loud, for fear of othering, rejection, or being cast aside, either from friends, loved ones, or employers in a working environment.

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World Views
DANCE FILM | Par Josephine Minhinnett

World Views

Tapping into wanderlust in its seventh season (and most ambitious one yet), Fall for Dance North (FFDN) took audiences on an expansive journey to Bangalore, Havana, and London through its Signature Program, a three-part dance film conceived by Ilter Ibrahimof and Indo-Canadian director Vikram Dasgupta.

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Fluidity and Freedom
DANCE FILM | Par Lorna Irvine

Fluidity and Freedom

Commissioned by Fuel and directed by filmmaker JJ Abrahams, this intensely personal film, “Salt & Sugar” for Dance International Glasgow is beautiful, but bracingly unsentimental. At forty, critically acclaimed choreographer and dancer Hemabharathy Palani is looking back and taking stock of her life thus far. This film isn't a linear, autobiographical piece though—it is lyrical and dense, showing Palani dancing, teaching and exercising in a variety of locations, such as forests, shimmering grassy fields and indoors in practice studios.

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Back to DANCE
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Candice Thompson

Back to DANCE

Lucinda Childs is considered one of the pillars of the Judson Dance Theater collective and often hailed as a “master of minimalism.” In 1979, she created one of her pure dance works to a score by Philip Glass, while Sol LeWitt contributed film decor featuring the original cast of dancers. Layering rhythms, patterns, and images of dancing bodies, “DANCE”—the result of this collaboration between three art world icons—returns to New York City’s the Joyce Theater October 19-24. Candice Thompson spoke with producers and dancers Caitlin Scranton and Matt Pardo (The Blanket) about why this 40-year old work endures, what it...

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Consumer Durables
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Lorna Irvine

Consumer Durables

What makes German choreographer/performer Frauke Requardt's work so special is that she never uses spectacle for its own sake—there are always enough ideas to accompany her own vivid, inventive choreography, which scratches both itches of live art and contemporary dance at once.

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Anatomy Of Dance
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Lorna Irvine

Anatomy Of Dance

London-born dancer Matthew Hawkins has always been a singular force of nature, so it makes sense for him to collaborate with the iconoclastic Scottish musicians Red Note Ensemble and lithe, soulful French dancer Soraya Ham. For this film, Iconnotations, the setting is the beautiful Greyfriars Kirk in the “old town” side of Edinburgh, a spacious and ornate parish church. It has been previously performed in St. Magnus Cathedral in Orkney, the island where Maxwell Davies lived laterally. The main piece, Vesalii Icones, features a musical score from late English composer Peter Maxwell Davies from 1969, which is filled with so...

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Bringing the World
DANCE FILM | REVIEWS | Par Cecilia Whalen

Bringing the World

Battery Dance Festival returned to the stage last week in celebration of its 40th anniversary, presenting six days of international dance live and livestreamed from the spectacular Robert F. Wagner park in lower Manhattan. The festival ran Aug. 12th through 20th and featured 56 total performances, including 16 dance films which opened the first three days of the festival online.

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