There are 37.2 trillion cells in the average human body. Almost all of mine are excited about DANCE ON CAMERA this weekend. The few that are not excited are nervous about it. Putting together a program of 21 movies on a single subject is far more personal than assembling diverse weekly programming. I started DANCE ON CAMERA at the Rose for one reason: I enjoy watching dance, whether live or on screen, and assumed that many others in Port Townsend might share the same passion. Dance is a language all its own, and the pleasure and challenge for me in watching it is interpreting it without words. It sets my cells on fire.
Trey McIntyre is one of the most celebrated choreographers in modern dance. He has choreographed over 100 dances, and is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters. His works have been performed by the Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet, Washington Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and the Queensland Ballet among others.
It was last July when I invited him to bring his new film to the Rose this weekend, yet it only dawned on me days ago that I never inquired as to why he agreed to this. Why fly from New York on Saturday to present a film at the Rose that evening, and then return to New York the following day? I decided to watch GRAVITY HERO a second time, and in doing so I found the answer. His film is less documentary, and more of a very personal memoir. And with apologies to Henry David Thoreau, it reveals McIntryre to be a thoughtful, contemplative artist who definitely dances to the beat of a different drummer.
The dance movies this weekend come from the U.S., Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Canada and Spain. They will fill the Rose screen with a diversity of subjects, styles and genres. For those who think tap is a bygone staple of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, there's the revelatory AMERICAN TAP, a documentary that digs deep into the history of an art form that has continued to evolve and renew itself. This year is the centenary of Jerome Robbins, and we acknowledge his achievements with NY EXPORT: OPUS JAZZ, a cinematic re-staging of his popular "ballet in sneakers." Enjoy the show.
There is also dancing and great music in A TUBA TO CUBA, the story of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band as the traverse Cuba in search of they indigenous music that gave birth to New Orleans jazz.