We’re thrilled to start a new tradition at Diablo Ballet. On July 16th, we’re welcoming the Dance on Film Festival to the San Francisco Bay Area, screening some of the best movies that captured dance.
Someone asked me “Why do we need this?” While I was initially shocked, I thought about this question. There are all kinds of film festivals. What makes one about dance so important?
Simple. Dance is an art form that is incredibly hard to capture on film. Dance succeeds in the moment…live and instant. The intimacy sparks emotions in us. To capture all this on film is very hard and, in most cases, impossible.
More importantly, we need a dance film festival to remind us of the power of dance. When was the last time you saw a great dance film? OK. I’ll wait. Maybe Mao’s Last Dancer? And I’m not talking about a documentary like Pina, First Position, or Children of Theatre Street. Why cannot we integrate a story with dance like they did in the 1930s and 40s? Have we lost the ability top do this?
What do we consider today to be dance films? “Step Up 5,” “Center Stage,” and “Magic Mike”? I’ll also try to forget “Flashdance” and “Footloose.” Apparently today, dance themed movies are about the girl who falls for the guy from the wrong side of the tracks. And then they dance. In 3-D, of course.
There was a time when filmmakers wanted to put dance on film. The festival is screening some of those works from a time gone by. Ironically, all our films were nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. They are The Red Shoes (July 16th), An American in Paris (August 15th), and West Side Story (September 12th),
Come see how films captured the power of dance.
The Diablo Ballet Dance On Film Festival takes place at the Lafayette Library. Admission is $5 with a pre-screening talk by Lauren Jonas, Diablo Ballet Artistic Director, about the making of the film. information may be found here or by calling Diablo Ballet at 925-943-1775.
Click here to see a photo galley of unforgettable images from The Red Shoes.