February 2017 | Moving Images

Videos of note (new and not)

Dancer
Directed by Steven Cantor
Studio: WestEnd Films
Price: $14.99 (download)
NR; 85 minutes; 2016

Blessed with unusual talent and charisma, at age 19 the Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest-ever principal dancer and earned comparisons to Nureyev and Nijinsky. Two years later, he walked out—driven to self-destructive behavior by the pressures of stardom, and feeling his talent had become more a burden than a gift. This documentary tells Polunin’s story, from his family’s fragmentation to the unexpected viral success of what was intended to be his farewell performance, in David LaChapelle’s music video to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.”

Lincoln Center at the Movies Presents Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Studio: C Major Entertainment
Price: $24.99
NR; 101 minutes; 2016

Previously Alvin Ailey’s complete Revelations was only available on video in a 1986 studio performance. (See “Moving Images,” March/April 2015.) Now you can see the current Ailey company’s take on this magnificent piece, in a 2015 performance filmed at New York City’s Lincoln Center. The DVD also includes three other notable works—Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, and artistic director Robert Battle’s Takademe—plus a seven-minute bonus documentary, Beyond the Curtain.

Dance for PD: At Home, vol. 1
Directed by David Bee
Studio: Lightmotive Films
Price: $29.99
NR; 147 minutes; 2013

Developed by Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group, Dance for PD offers specialized dance classes to people with Parkinson’s disease. This DVD (the first in a three-volume set) features a complete class led by Dance for PD founding teachers John Heginbotham, David Leventhal, and Misty Owens. The class takes the viewer through a series of movement phrases based on tap, ballet, jazz, modern dance, and improvisation. The “Practice Class” segment introduces the exercises, which can be done either seated or standing, with explanations; the “Through Class” segment allows the viewer to experience the flow of an entire lesson.

Gotta Dance
Directed by Dori Berinstein
Studio: Dramatic Forces
Price: $18
NR; 94 minutes; 2009

Who says you can’t learn to dance hip-hop when you’re 80 years old? This documentary chronicles the debut season of the New Jersey Nets’ first senior hip-hop dance team, the NETSational Seniors, from auditions to halftime fame. The 13 dancers—12 women and one man, all dance team newbies, ages 60 to 83—persist through swollen ankles, exhausting rehearsals, fashion clashes, and complicated dance steps until they achieve their goal: dancing center court in front of thousands of cheering Nets fans.