The ultimate language and expression: dance! Unique films about dance

“Dance, the hidden language of the soul; a minimum of explanation, a minimum of anecdotes, and a maximum of sensations” – Maurice Béjart.

How do we get better in creating anything like dance or painting through self expression? Get crazier, find what moves you.

Outside the main successful movies about classic and street dance (like ballet, jazz, ballroom, hip-hop), I will instead mention truly unique films about artistic combination of dance and cinematography. If you love dance (of any kind) or have the passion for art appreciation, you MUST see these movies.

 

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Tango (1998)

Directed by Carlos Saura

Choreography by Juan Carlos Copes, Carlos Rivarola and Ann Maria Stekelman

Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro

Set in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the film tells the story of director Mario Suarez’s quest to make the ultimate tango film. Lonely after his wife (one of the film’s stars) has left him, Mario must find the themes that will hold the film together, while simultaneously permitting his musicians and dancers the freedom of expression that is necessary to satisfy the tango-hungry Argentine audience. Things become complicated when Mario falls in love with Elena, a beautiful and talented young dancer who is the girlfriend of the powerful and dangerous Angelo Larroca, an investor in the picture. And Mario’s creative vision is challenged by his investors when he plans a scene that recreates Argentina’s dark years of political suppression and “disappearances”. Review written by Martin Lewison.

Few films are capable of elevating anything, specially when it comes to an art form, and in this case it is impressive what one art form has done for another. Review written by Pedro Sena.

Tango is one of the best designed dance film ever made! If this is not making love to a dance, then the love does not exist, or the dance is dead.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAHgEb_FQ5Y

 

 

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Pina (2011)

Directed by Wim Wenders

“Words only give hints, you must dance” – Pina Bausch

“Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost”- Pina Bausch

In modern dance since the 1970s, few choreographers have had more influence in the medium than the late Pina Bausch. This film explores the life and work of this artist of movement while we see her company perform her most notable creations. It is a celebration of the form of expression. This celebration is woven of love, gratitude and accomplishments of Pina’s students. They all speak about how Pina allowed them to open up their unique essence, feeling and talent. “Pina gave me language”. Pina taught them to dance with their eyes closed.

This film had me wonder: what else is hidden inside of my gift box? What else is hidden inside of yours?

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I have never seen a movie (or an artist) that moved me so much and evoked every sense of my emotions– fear, sadness, love, euphoria, loss, longing, solitude, desire. It’s an experience to watch Pina, it will disturb you and inspire you, and it will captivate your soul completely.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNuQVS7q7-A

 

 

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Amelia (2003)

Directed by Édouard Lock

Performed by La La La Human Steps

“Amelia” is one of the greatest works of the modern times that better combines multiples artistic disciplines, reminding us the benefits and the possibilities of putting different ways of expression together: theater, classic/contemporary dance, performance, music and cinema.

Édouard Lock, creator of “La La La Human Steps” dance company, is the choreographer and the director of this filmed version, which is totally different from the original work designed for the conventional “stage”. In this exclusive version for (tv) screens, Édouard Lock moves forward all the way through new methods of filming dance, turning what sometimes appears to be only ordinary movements into meaningful sequences, ordered according to a narrative scheme that may not be easy or consensually understood.

David Lang’s original music score (soft, childish and enigmatic), in articulation with special lightning and cinematic effects, creates a rare atmosphere of elegance, beauty and tension, combined with true experimental, gracious and sometimes impolite approaches.

It is not about exposing the body in symbolic or in metaphoric terms, but in a physical and in an emotive way. The spectator must feel the characters as humans, more then simply watching them as mechanical perfect dancing machines. Mostly because they have feelings and concern about the same terrestrial things we do. In this aspect, there is an obvious intention of bringing back dance to a large amount of people.

It is definitely an original, artistic and beautiful multidisciplinary masterpiece. Review written by Daniel Boto.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8rmRjmVne4 

 

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All That Jazz (1979)

Directed and choreography by Bob Fosse

“All that work. All that glitter. All that pain. All that love. All that crazy rhythm. All that jazz.”

This is the story of Broadway choreographer Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider); a pill-popping, chain-smoking, serial-womanizing choreographer/director who struggles to prevent the demons that fuel his creativity from consuming his life. Simultaneously mounting a Broadway show and editing a motion picture, Gideon’s intensifying abuse of his health (both physical and mental) manifests, surrealistically, as a literal love affair/dialog with death (a teasing Jessica Lange). His essential shallowness of character (something he takes great pains to dramatize in the film) makes for the baring of guardedly superficial insights, leaving the larger philosophical questions of “what price art?” unaddressed.

The dance sequences are magnificent representing human relationships of love, lust, and freedom. One of my favourite scene is the dance that Gideon´s daughter and girlfriend perform for him at home.

(Source: http://lecinemadreams.blogspot.com/2011/12/all-that-jazz-1979.html)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UN68ujZdTE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL22e30bFic

 

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