Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Five Dance films at the 17th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival


The 17th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival begins on Friday, March 13th, featuring approximately 185 films (shorts and features) by directors from all over the world. We have picked out five movies about dance! Each movie studies dance from a different angle, in different age groups, times and societies and each one focuses on a different dance style. From ballet to hip-hop and flamenco to contemporary dance and with dancers professional and amateurs, teenagers and ninety-year-olds, these movies truly prove that dance really is for everyone! Let’s take a look…

1. Hip Hop-eration -(opening film)
Bryn Evans, 2014, New Zealand
Who said your grandmother couldn’t be a hip hop star? These hip-hoppers may each be almost a century young, but for Kara (94), Maynie (95) and Terri (93), the journey to the Las Vegas World Hip Hop Dance Championships is just the beginning of a life’s journey. Along with twenty-seven other nonagenarians, they defy the odds and hip hop their way into the hearts and minds of thousands of young fans from around the world. Led by their exuberant manager Billie “I must be mad” Jordan, they learn to throw away their wheelchairs and walking sticks, pushing their bodies and artificial joints to the absolute limits of old age. “You’re all going...even if it’s in an urn,” Billie tells them.

Here is the trailer!
Friday, March 13, 2015 - 20:30 | OLYMPION
Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 20:30 | STAVROS TORNES

Nancy Buirski, 2013, USA
Of all the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercqmay have been themost transcendent. With a body unlike any before hers, she mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike. With her elongated, race-horse physique, she became the new prototype for the great George Balanchine. Because of her extraordinary movement and unique personality on stage, she became a muse to two of the greatest choreographers in dance, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She eventually married Balanchine, and Robbins created his famous version of Afternoon of a Faun for her. She had love, fame, adoration, and was the foremost dancer of her day until it suddenly all stopped. At the age of 27, she was struck down by polio and paralyzed. She never danced again. The ballet world has been haunted by her story ever since.

Here is the trailer!

Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 15:00 | JOHN CASSAVETES
Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 14:30 | OLYMPION

Ivan Gergolet, 2014, Italy-Argentina-Slovenia
Maria Fux is a 90-year-old Argentinean dancer. In her studio, in the heart of Buenos Aires, she is still dancing and teaching with the elegance and energy of a young performer. In her classes, she accepts dancers from all social backgrounds, but also men and women with physical and mental limitations, incorporating them into the various groups of dancers. She gives everybody the possibility to develop their own way of expressing themselves and draws out the talent of dancers of all ages and conditions. After a period of training with her, a lot of them blossom, as if something has woken up inside them. Having experienced and transmitted to others for a lifetime her method based on the perception of internal rhythms and on living in harmony with music, Maria Fux has taken on one last pupil, perhaps the most difficult: herself. We all have limits which we can understand and overcome. At the age of 90, Maria is fighting one final battle against the limits of her own body.

Here is the trailer!

Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 17:30 | JOHN CASSAVETES
Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 15:30 | STAVROS TORNES

Leonidas Konstantarakos, Maria Damkalidi, Stavros Petropoulos, 2014, Greece
Τhe Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens is staging the “Dancing to Connect” educational program, which seeks to give school children the opportunity to discover codes of collaboration and communication through dance. The program was created by the Battery Dance Company from New York and has been hosted in more than 30 countries worldwide. The program ran in five schools in Athens and another five in Patras. The documentary illustrates the creative process of the program by following the teens, from the rehearsals to the performance on the Onassis Cultural Centre’s Main Stage, which featured the ten choreographies created by them as an outcome of collective work and improvisation.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 22:30 | JOHN CASSAVETES
Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 18:00 | FRIDA LIAPPA

Natalia Koutsougera, 2015, Greece
This ethnographic film explores the ways transnational hip hop and competition dance styles are embodied by female street dancers in contemporary Greece. The film captures the everyday lives of two young girls who practice popping, waacking and house dance in Athens. Scenes from their friendship and their relationship with male hip hop dancers and members of their crews (Funky Habits, Waveomatics Crew) are vividly portrayed and narrated. The camera follows them through different activities ranging from teaching, practicing, traveling, preparing and participating in hip hop competitions, shows and events. Above all, the film unravels aspects and perceptions of their femininity and gender identity in a male-dominated scene – hip hop culture – and explores the role that dance plays in the production of sisterhood and team spirit.
Friday, March 20, 2015 - 17:30 | PAVLOS ZANNAS
Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 13:00 | TONIA MARKETAKI

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