Videos of note (new and not)
Directed by Anne Linsel and Rainer Hoffman
Studio: First Run Features
NR; 89 minutes; 2010
In 2009, the year before her death, German dance theater icon Pina Bausch selected 40 teenagers with no dance experience from her company’s home city of Wuppertal, Germany, to perform her 1978 piece Kontakthof (Contact Zone). This documentary follows the young dancers for 10 months, from auditions through opening night, as they learn to embody Bausch’s emotion-baring choreography.
Directed by Christopher Herrmann
Studio: Palisades Tartan/Kino Lorber
NR; 80 minutes; 2003
Tiny, powerful Martha Graham was a larger-than-life figure. The six foot four dance artist Richard Move channels her with uncanny accuracy and heartfelt conviction in this comical, impressionistic homage, which portrays Graham’s life and art through the lens of fictional filmmaker Barbara Rosen (Ann Magnuson). Financial woes persuade the camera-shy Graham (Move) to allow Rosen to film the creation of a new ballet, Phaedra. Slowly the diva opens up and invites the starstruck Rosen into her tempestuous world. With Deborah Harry, Isaac Mizrahi, and Mark Morris.
Alonzo King Lines Ballet: Triangle of the Squinches, Scheherazade, Dust and Light
Directed by Andreas Morell
Studio: Arthaus Musik
Price: $39.99 (Blu-ray)
NR; 138 minutes; 2011
This film captures King’s San Francisco–based contemporary ballet company in studio performances of three of the choreographer’s works. Triangle of the Squinches (2011) features music by former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart; Dust and Light (2009) is danced to music from the baroque (Arcangelo Corelli) and 20th-century (Francis Poulenc) eras; and Scheherazade (2009) showcases music by classical Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain. A bonus feature, Alonzo King: Poet of Dance, presents interviews with King and company dancers plus backstage and rehearsal footage.
The Royal Ballet: Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée
Directed by Ross MacGibbon
Studio: Opus Arte
NR; 124 minutes; 2015
Ashton’s beloved 1960 version of the 1789 French ballet is a classic of The Royal Ballet’s repertoire. With its pastoral charm, virtuoso pas de deux, and broad comedy—not to mention dancing chickens and exuberant clog and maypole dances—the ballet was an instant hit with the British public. This 2015 revival stars Natalia Osipova as Lise, Steven McRae as Colas, and Philip Mosley as Widow Simone.