Dance is, by its very nature, an ephemeral art form: the dancers dance, one movement gives way to another, and the only intangible trace is left in the mind of the spectator, a memory whose contours will fade in time. But beginning in the 19th century, two innovations would come to revolutionize this evanescent dynamic: standardized ballet notation, which enabled choreographers to preserve and pass on their work, and then the video camera, which allowed audiences to see—again and again—not only bodies in motion, but even facial expressions that lasted only an instant.
In this exceptional documentary, Reiner E. Moritz revisits the history of dance as viewed through the camera lens. Moritz unearths rare archival footage: from Loïe Fuller's Danse serpentine by the Lumière brothers themselves, to Martha Graham's mythical Appalachian Spring, previously available to view only in the United States. The documentary is enhanced with commentary by ballet lovers like producer Bob Lockyer, dancer Yuri Fateev, and director-producer Brigitte Kramer.
A documentary by Chantal Akerman
Extracts from 9 choreographies: Le Parc, Snow W...