Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Men that dance -Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

The 16th International Documentary Festival is on this week here in Thessaloniki and it features a couple of interesting movies about dance this year!
Ballet Boys is about three teenage boys in Norway, in the first years of their ballet carriers, as they are trying to make it in the ballet world, aiming to enter the Norwegian Ballet Academy. The anxieties of puberty are entangled with the strives of ballet – stressful auditions and competitions, pressure from parents and teachers and necessary sacrifices mixed with friendships, first loves, separation and growing up from boys to young men. The uncertainties of dance as a profession are strongly highlighted throughout the film. It also subtly touches the matter of race, as one of the ballet boys is of Asian descent. You can watch the trailer here.

In Los Posibles, choreographer Juan Onofri Barbato works with a group of young men in a social assistance day center in Gonzalez Catán /Argentina, using dance as a way of helping them re-identify themselves. He uses a highly athletic dance style, a mix of acrobatics, street dance and contemporary dance. This back story is not conveyed in the film where we only see the choreography. There is no dialogue, no narration –just the dance. And when the dance ends there is an abrupt, kind of unsettling shift back to reality. You can watch the trailer here and see the full theater performance here.

Both films deal with male dancers and subsequently with masculinity/ies in dance. Men and boys are increasingly entering the world of dance, in different levels –from amateur to professional- and different dance styles. But still they remain a lean minority and male dancing remains socially stereotyped and stigmatized. Nonetheless, here in the studio, we are really happy (and lucky) to have three boys in our kids’ contemporary class and one of them in kids’ ballet too! Let’s hope they grow up dancing!

our ballet girls and ballet boy at KINOUME studio!

Here are some interesting blogs of men and boys (and dance moms with dancing sons!) documenting their dance routes:

And Maria from Maria’s Movers is having an all boys preschool class!

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