July 2015 | Moving Images

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Videos of note (new and not)

The Green Table
Directed by Thomas Grimm
Studio: Kultur Video
Price: $19.99
NR; 37 minutes; 2013

The Joffrey Ballet performs a milestone of 20th-century dance, Kurt Jooss’ 1932 The Green Table, in this studio recording staged by the choreographer’s daughter, Anna Markard. Jooss helped develop German Tanztheater, studied with Rudolf Laban, and taught Pina Bausch. A signature Joffrey work since 1967, this “Danse Macabre in Eight Scenes” expresses war’s futile tragedy.

Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter
Directed by Greg Vander Veer
Studio: First Run Features
Price: $27.95
NR; 80 minutes; 2014

The little-known story of Martha Hill, The Juilliard School Dance Division’s founding director, a visionary who worked to make dance a respected art form in America. Interviews with Robert Battle, Charles L. Reinhart, Heather Watts, Ohad Naharin, Deborah Jowitt, Paul Taylor, Martha Clarke, and more intersperse with archival footage featuring Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, José Limón, Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, and others.

No Maps on My Taps
Directed by George Nierenberg
Studio: Milestone Films
Price: $29.95
NR; 58 minutes; 1979

Filmed at a time when tap dance’s survival seemed in doubt, this documentary about hoofers Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green, and Howard “Sandman” Sims and their incandescent artistry helped encourage a tap renaissance. Tap history provides a joyous backdrop to portraits of the artists, who represent different aesthetics but share a solidarity of spirit and tales of a long life on the road. For the film, a live concert with Lionel Hampton’s band was staged at well-known Harlem club Smalls Paradise. Also featuring John Bubbles.

From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale
Directed by Henry Chalfant
Studio: City Lore
Price: $19.95
NR; 56 minutes; 2006

Mambo was nurtured in the South Bronx; hip-hop was born there. This story of two music and dance styles is also the story of a neighborhood, from the 1950s melding of Puerto Rican, Cuban, and jazz influences into the New York Latin music sound; to the 1970s fires that destroyed the neighborhood but not its people’s creative spirit; to the rise of hip-hop from the ashes. Featuring Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Sanabria, DJ Charlie Chase, Grandmaster Caz, Rock Steady Crew, and others.