We love seeing dance on film and get particularly excited about movies that get even non-dancing audiences talking about the art form.
On September 11, First Position, a new dance doc screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Not to be confused with the 1970’s documentary A Dancer’s Life, which was formerly titled First Position, this film follows six young ballet dancers aged nine to nineteen as they struggle to maintain form in the face of injury and personal sacrifice on their way to one of the most prestigious international ballet competitions in the world: Youth America Grand Prix.
The tagline: Ballet is not for sissies.
Here’s the trailer:
The film will also screen on September 17. More about the film can be found at the TIFF website.
TIFF is a great place for First Position to get picked up for distribution so hopefully we’ll see it in theatres nearby soon.
More reviews are sure to follow the screenings. Until then, read what Dave Robson had to say at Sound on Sight.
First Position wasn’t the only dance film to feature at TIFF.
Wim Wender’s 3D adaptation of German choreographer, Pina Bausch’s work was screened prominently on opening night of the festival.
Originally to be a collaborative project between Bausch and Wenders, Pina almost didn’t happen. Shortly before shooting was scheduled to begin in 2009, Bausch died suddenly just days after being diagnosed with cancer. Wenders almost abandoned the project, but when Bausch’s dance company, Tanztheater Wuppertal, decided to continue on, Wenders went forward, paying tribute with this performance-based documentary featuring the troupe’s trademark dances and Bausch’s extraordinary choreography.
Even the trailer is breathtaking:
Pina had it’s U.S. debut earlier this month at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, will be Germany’s foreign-language Oscar submission (interesting, as the primary language in this film seems to be dance), and will be in select theatres come December here in the U.S.
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.