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Posts Tagged ‘Ballet

Hiroshima Mon Amour

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At a performance of the short ballet, Sea of Troubles (MacMillan, 1988), the score reminded me of these opening passages from Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour (which I found infinitely more arresting). Professor Emma Wilson gave a glorious lecture on this film, and these scenes in particular, with quite an emphasis on their textural quality – riffing on a few themes from Laura Marks. The music hauntingly sticks to these scenes in my memory, bringing it all back vividly.

Written by James P. Campbell

16/08/2013 at 23:30

Only When I Dance ***

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Only When I Dance

Press notes describe Only When I Dance as an uplifting documentary, set against the well established image of the inherently violent and starkly deprived Rio Favelas. That isn’t quite accurate. We follow two teenagers from Complexo do Alemao, only one of whose dreams get a chance to flourish. The quietly determined Isabela and confident, colourful Irlan both aspire to high-flying careers in ballet. An odd choice, it would seem, for kids coming from one of the toughest areas of Brazil. It would be unfair to claim that both face great obstacles to success, since in the shallow world of classical dance, only first place counts, and Irlan has the talent and the looks to secure prize wins, full financial backing and the devoted attention of his trainer. Whereas Isabela – who suffers all the (sometimes desperately) cruel turns of fate, whose family place their hopes and financial destiny on her delicate shoulders, and who through ignorance and miscommunication is made to feel overweight and inadequate – Isabela, with neither the expected figure or track record, cannot afford to fail, financially or emotionally. She faces an uphill struggle from the start, as a black girl in a country where the colour of her skin will make it impossible to secure tenure with a dance company.

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Written by James P. Campbell

05/12/2009 at 09:57