Dance for All

Dance for All

Dance for All

  In the wake of the surprise hits “Rhythm Is It! The documentary has in recent years, learned the dance and discovering for themselves. And time and again be the integrative power of dance and its ability to generate self-confidence through physical exercise, the focus. Dance for All is no exception: the film is devoted to a dance company that has yet to be established under apartheid in South Africa, to send black children from the townships of Cape Town a classical ballet training.

“Dance for All”, the name of the project was in 1991 (by the world-renowned prima ballerina Phyllis Spira, who died on March 11, 2008) and her husband, the dancer Philip Boyd (both from Cape Town City Ballet), based on a project of the Head of the Cape Town Ballet Davis Pool established. This had given in a previous project called “Ballet for All” since the mid-eighties ballet classes in the Gugulethu township. Under the leadership of Spira and Boyd, the program has been systematically expanded and hired more teachers so that in parallel in the meantime, some 1,000 children will receive a ballet training. Place great emphasis both professional dancers on the continuity of training to enable exceptionally talented students the way to the ballet companies and offer them to a professional and artistic perspective. And as the film suggests, this project certainly succeeded.

Bromund Elena, who had previously worked mostly in film editing (editing for fathers and Alles auf Zucker! By Dani Levy, as well as learning from Hendrik Handloegten) lying, Viviane Blumenschein and (serving as a director of the Making Ofs various films such as Good Bye, Lenin, and my guide supervised) crossed Bromund former ballet teacher Winfried Vaassen in the footsteps of the project. In 2004, she embarked on a first research trip to South Africa and returned impressed with what they had experienced there, returned to Germany to film after securing funding a half months in the townships – an adventure, according to which the two they know are initially approached quite naive. But perhaps it is precisely this simplicity and the significant curiosity that gives this film its undeniable charm.

The focus is not only the two makers Phyllis Spira and Philip Boyd several young dancers and their life situation, lay the full ambivalence of the country as under a magnifying glass to open. As example, the professional dancers Nqaba, who was trained for 12 years at the Dance for All project. Grew up without a father, he was raised by Spira and Boyd with and is on the verge of a professional career. When he returned after a stay in San Francisco to Cape Town, he dreams of them to compete on an international career, and South Africa can as quickly as possible behind. Or is the only just 12 years old Zandile from home has huge problems with her father and the dancing is all. Theo, however, has done it, he was one of the first children, which began with the training, he now works in London and always returns to his homeland to return something of what he has got on its way.

What is striking about the film, the other view, find the two directors to the townships. Mr. Chen otherwise mostly pictures before that emphasize the distance and strangeness of the settlements, by example, is filmed from a moving car, the film shows (picture perfect, the camera work by Franz Lustig) is of great closeness and immediacy, which report a desire to close in the daily lives of residents turn to be and live with them. In contrast, the ballet sequences have a very stylized and removed from the sad reality that they emphasize the completely different worlds of the hard daily life in the townships and the training in the protected space of the dance hall. Simple and effective can the situation of the young apprentice between dream and reality, between stage and life hardly describe.

Do not disappear especially since the problems of the townships after the pointe shoes and tutu, but to show itself again and again. Sometimes this does happen only in passing, but is then all the more significant: For example, if a sign indicating the entrance to the school that firearms are banned here, then you will quickly remember where you are currently located.

Dance for All celebrates its world premiere (of course) in Cape Town, on 22 July 2007, the film was in “Encounters South African International Documentary Festival premiered”. On the 41st Hof International Film Festival, the film also won last year, the Eastman Kodak Prize. The film is a sequel out in 2010: Then, when the eyes of the world addressed to the World Cup held in South Africa, want to be Viviane Blumenschein and Elena Bromund of the party to investigate what happens to the dancers of Company has become. According to what has been the film that probably should not be surprised if in a few years ago, the first black prima ballerina of a large company might have its roots in the townships of Cape Town.

Dance for All one remarkably successful and atmospheric, dense film about an unusual project, which should open some Tanzfan eyes to conceal what great hopes and opportunities, the apparent small projects.

(Paul Collmar)

Title: Dance for All Country of production: Germany, South Africa Year of production: 2008 Length: 92 (Min) Rental: color film rental

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