March-April 2016 | Moving Images

MovingImagesT

Videos of note (new and not)

Breath Made Visible
Directed by Ruedi Gerber
Studio: ZAS Films
Price: $24.95
NR; 80 minutes; 2010

This documentary traces the life and career of West Coast choreographer Anna Halprin, a pioneering believer in dance’s power to teach, heal, and transform at all ages of life. Interviews with fellow dancemakers (such as Merce Cunningham), archival footage, and excerpts of recent performances (such as Parades and Changes at Paris’ Centre Pompidou) are woven into a cinematic portrait of a modern dance icon.

Mark Morris Dance Group: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
Directed by Vincent Bataillon
Studio: Bel Air Classiques
Price: $25
NR; 110 minutes; 2015

Created in 1988, the life-affirming, evening-length L’Allegro remains one of Mark Morris’ signature works. This 2014 performance recording from Madrid’s Teatro Real captures the piece for the screen. As a live orchestra and singers perform Handel’s oratorio of the same name, with lyrics drawn from the poems of Milton, a colorfully dressed array of dancers embodies the ecstasy of art that transforms.

A Good Man
Directed by Bob Hercules and Gordon Quinn
Studio: Kartemquin Films
Price: $29.95
NR; 86 minutes; 2011

Through two tumultuous years, Bill T. Jones and his company struggle to create their most ambitious work to date, a dance theater piece commissioned for Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial about the legacy of “the Great Emancipator.” This documentary traces Jones’ artistic process, start to finish, and the creative crisis he experiences as he explores what it means to be a good man, a free man, and a citizen.

Test
Directed by Chris Mason Johnson
Studio: Wolfe Video
Price: $24.95
NR (adult themes); 90 minutes; 2013

A fictional portrait of San Francisco’s overlapping gay and dance communities in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. It’s 1985, and an HIV test is newly available—offering both certainty and fear of stigma. Shy young Frankie (Scott Marlowe) must navigate his job (as a modern dance company understudy), a new romance, and life in a free-spirited city suddenly grappling with risk and anxiety. With dance sequences by Sidra Bell and a cast featuring many professional dancers.