January 2017 | Moving Images


Videos of note (new and not)

Directed by Carlos Saura
Studio: First Run Features
Price: $24.95
NR; 85 minutes; 2016

Over his long career, Spanish director Carlos Saura has made several films—Carmen (1983), Flamenco, Flamenco (2010), and others—that fuse dance, music, and cinematography in original, often surreal ways. His latest film portrays Argentina’s rich folk traditions. In choreographed tableaux within a minimalist stage set of light, shadow, and color, the dancers of Koki and Pajarín Saavedra’s company, Nuevo Arte Nativo, retrace Argentina’s history through its indigenous dances—zamba, chacarera, cueca, vidala—as La Sole, Jairo, El Chaqueño Palavecino, and other musicians perform traditional songs.

La Danse
Directed by Frederick Wiseman
Studio: Zipporah Films
Price: $29.95
NR; 158 minutes; 2009

Paris Opera Ballet is the world’s oldest ballet company—its lineage dates to 1661—and its inner workings are correspondingly complex. With his usual deftness in portraying institutions, Wiseman follows the company’s dancers, choreographers, ballet masters, artistic director, administrators, musicians, and production designers around the Palais Garnier (the company’s stately home), into rehearsals and meetings and onstage. The film shows the preparations for and performances of ballets by Wayne McGregor, Angelin Preljocaj, Mats Ek, Pierre Lacotte, Rudolf Nureyev, Pina Bausch, and Sasha Waltz.

Jirí Kylián: Forgotten Memories
Directed by Don Kent and Christian Dumais-Lvowski
Studio: Arthaus Musik
Price: $12.99 (download)
NR; 76 minutes; 2011

Czech choreographer Jirí Kylián is a lion of European contemporary ballet whose wide-ranging works—he’s choreographed more than 100—range from austere abstraction to tempestuous emotion to farcical humor. In his early career a Stuttgart Ballet dancer and protégé of John Cranko, Kylián has for decades been closely associated with the Dutch troupe Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). In this documentary, he discusses his life, artistic process, significant works, and more. The film includes a previously unreleased NDT performance of Kylián’s Wings of Wax (1997).

You Don’t Need Feet to Dance
Directed by Alan Govenar
Studio: First Run Features
Price: $24.95
NR; 81 minutes; 2012

In his native Guinea, Sidiki Conde trained as a performer and ethnographer, learning traditional songs and dances. At age 14, he lost the use of his legs to polio. Conde compensated by learning to walk, and dance, on his hands. Today, he balances a career in New York City—drumming, singing, dancing, leading a band, busking, teaching disabled kids—with the daunting obstacles of day-to-day life, getting around Manhattan via wheelchair and his powerful arms. This documentary portrays the extraordinary life of a man overcoming his disability one day at a time.