December 2016 | Moving Images

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Videos of note (new and not)

Shake the Dust
Directed by Adam Sjöberg
Studio: Bond/360
Price: $19.99
NR; 85 minutes; 2015

“We may not have what you have, but we can do what you do,” says narrator and Ugandan b-boy Karim Lokwa in this globe-trotting documentary, which highlights the power of American hip-hop culture to create pride and community among poor and dispossessed yet talented b-boys and b-girls in the slums of Yemen, Uganda, Colombia, and Cambodia. Produced by the rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones. Bonus features include a making-of featurette and a follow-up with the dancers featured in the film.

Inside the Circle
Directed by Marcy Garriott
Studio: Cinema Libre
Price: $9.88
NR; 102 minutes; 2007

This documentary tells the story of two talented Austin b-boys, Josh and Omar, best friends who become rivals when they join competing dance crews. Omar rises to international renown, while Josh tangles with the criminal justice system; along the way, the B-Boy City competitions organized by promoter Romeo Navarro serve as emotional milestones in the young men’s journey to adulthood. Facing off in intense dance battles that mirror the larger events in their lives, Josh and Omar seek redemption, identity, and respect “inside the circle.”

Check Your Body at the Door
Directed by Charles Atlas and Michael Schwartz
Studio: Sally R. Sommer
Price: $25
NR; 60 minutes; 2015

In the early 1980s, dance historian Sommer and dancer Archie Burnett decided to document the creativity and freedom of New York City’s underground house dance clubs. Thirty-five years in the making, this loving homage to the house dance scene has become an important historical record of an era. Throughout the 1990s, the camera follows a cast of master freestylers—Burnett, Willi Ninja, Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune, Brian “Footwork” Green, Barbara Tucker, Iriena Herrera, and others—into the clubs, their jobs and homes, and the studio, where their virtuosic moves are revealed in silhouette or pools of light.

Sweethearts of the Gridiron
Directed by Chip Hale
Studio: Overton Films
Price: $24.98
NR; 87 minutes; 2016

In 1940, Gussie Nell Davis started the nation’s first precision dancing drill team, the Kilgore College Rangerettes, to keep football spectators in the bleachers during halftime (instead of drinking under them). Generations of confident and successful women credit the Rangerettes for lessons in poise, sisterhood, and life. This documentary interviews the team’s strict directors, recounts its history, captures members practicing splits and kicks on the field in 115-degree heat, and follows five applicants—whom the Rangerettes officially refer to as “hopefuls”—as each works toward her dream of becoming a member of the line.