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Dance Films Presentation with Mathilde Froustey and Charles Redon - 2/An evening of exquisite vintage dance films


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#1 pherank

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 03:35 PM

A Heads Up! for people in the SF Bay Area:

Oddball Films at 275 Capp Street, San Francisco is having a special ballet and dance related presentation -

Voulez-Vous Danser Avec Moi? - Mon. Feb. 24 - 7:30 PM

“Oddball Films and guest curator Charles Redon present Voulez-Vous Danser Avec Moi? an evening of exquisite vintage dance films hosted by Mathilde Froustey, principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet.”

[I believe Redon and Froustey are engaged, so that would be the connection]

Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117

 

For a list of the films shown, and for more information:

http://oddballfilms....mon-feb-24.html

 

[ Edit: I see part of my title was clipped off - Arrrgh! But no way to fix that ]



#2 sandik

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:32 PM

I took a look at the listing, and there are some fabulous films.  Including...

 

Step Style: Alan Lomax is mostly know as a song collector, but he was involved in a cross-cultural music and dance research project for several years, looking for commonalities between different world dance traditions, and this particular film looks at the use of feet in many different dance forms.  Not screened very often, so hard to find...

 

When the Fire Dances Between Two Poles:  Mary Wigman, interview footage and material from her signature solos, including Hexentanz

 

He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing: Incredibly engaging documentary about Jaques d'Amboise and his American Dance Institute



#3 pherank

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:49 PM

I took a look at the listing, and there are some fabulous films.  Including...

 

Step Style: Alan Lomax is mostly know as a song collector, but he was involved in a cross-cultural music and dance research project for several years, looking for commonalities between different world dance traditions, and this particular film looks at the use of feet in many different dance forms.  Not screened very often, so hard to find...

 

When the Fire Dances Between Two Poles:  Mary Wigman, interview footage and material from her signature solos, including Hexentanz

 

He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing: Incredibly engaging documentary about Jaques d'Amboise and his American Dance Institute

 

The films you mentioned also caught my eye - I'd love to see what the Lomax film is like.



#4 sandik

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:07 PM

Lomax made several films during this project, with the movement analysts Irmgard Bartenieff and Forrestine Paulay -- on one level the films have a real educational filmstrip vibe, and some of the particular material (like gait analysis) might seem almost like physical therapy training films, but they have some great dance ethnographic material (and I love them, if you can't tell...)



#5 Quiggin

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:51 AM

I have gone a couple of times to Oddball films since this event. The screening room is in the Mission (the disappearing, rapidly gentrifying Mission), not far from ODC dance studios, up an old switchback stairway in an old warehouse. You walk through rows and rows of 16mm "educational" films, sprinkled with odd episodes things like "Toast of the Town" with Ed Sullivan, all in neat stacks as far as you can see. 

 

The screening room is in a back corner and the night of Mathilde Froustey's screening, Voulez-Vous Danser Avec Moi? (co-curated with Charles Redon), the tiny room was filled half with dancers from San Francisco Ballet and half with regular moviegoers.

 

At first I fell completely for the Alan Lomax film, with its beautiful ethnographic footage and its seductive idea that work movements, especially those involving movements of the feet like sowing and covering seeds and working wet clay on a spinning wheel, "naturally" evolved into dance movements. When the reassuring narrator's voice began to assure us that dancing on pointe derived from the downward foot pointing position of horsemen in stirrups – this is where the Lomax's idea seemed a bit dubious. Later I learned that these notions are considered very "grandiose" by anthropologists and ignore the ways dance developed as a language, with "lateral" contrasts and affinities to other steps and to other dances within a community.

 

But the real revelation of the night was the screening of a clip from a 1970 film showing Edward Villella doing a solo from Apollo. This completely blew away all other interpretations of the ballet I've seen.

 

Villella's Apollo is tightly presented, without an ounce of tenuousness – more like Prodigal Son or a pre-Diaghilev Meyerhold (Balanchine's teacher) Biometrics exercise, like "Throwing the Stone" or "Bow and Arrow." From the short scene, it seem like really another – and lost – ballet.

 

Most unfortunately the projector switched over to another clip just as a perfomance of Rubies was warming up.



#6 sandik

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:06 PM

I have gone a couple of times to Oddball films since this event. The screening room is in the Mission (the disappearing, rapidly gentrifying Mission), not far from ODC dance studios, up an old switchback stairway in an old warehouse. You walk through rows and rows of 16mm "educational" films, sprinkled with odd episodes things like "Toast of the Town" with Ed Sullivan, all in neat stacks as far as you can see.

 

Oh, I love places like that!



#7 pherank

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:08 PM

But the real revelation of the night was the screening of a clip from a 1970 film showing Edward Villella doing a solo from Apollo. This completely blew away all other interpretations of the ballet I've seen.

 

Villella's Apollo is tightly presented, without an ounce of tenuousness – more like Prodigal Son or a pre-Diaghilev Meyerhold (Balanchine's teacher) Biometrics exercise, like "Throwing the Stone" or "Bow and Arrow." From the short scene, it seem like really another – and lost – ballet.

 

Most unfortunately the projector switched over to another clip just as a perfomance of Rubies was warming up.

 

Sounds like a scene out of a Beat novel. How great. Were any details given regarding the Villella footage? And is there more somewhere in the NYC Performing Arts Library?



#8 Quiggin

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:17 PM

 

Oh, I love places like that!

 

 

San Francisco still is full of little retro-pockets of life like that – such as Caffe Trieste in North Beach where the same crowd that hung out in the sixties and seventies still hangs out today and continues the same arguments.

 

 

And is there more somewhere in the NYC Performing Arts Library?

 

 

It's from a film called Ballet with Edward Villella (1970) and there's a copy at the NYC Performing Arts Library, as well as the Paley Center for Media in New York. And possibly through the Paley Center Steven Bochco Scholars' Room in Los Angeles. Here's the catalogue entry -

 

 

One in this series of programs featuring an "introduction to the performing arts." In this program, Edward Villella describes and illustrates ballet technique. Highlights include the following: Villella discusses muscular discipline in ballet and the dancers' dedication to their craft, body form, and ballet exercises; Villella dances a solo in slow motion to illustrate the concept of line and form; Villella discusses dancers' feet and shoes; Patricia McBride performs a solo and talks about the importance of the toe shoe to the ballerina; Villella and McBride perform the pas de deux from Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty," and appear in rehearsal; Villella analyzes the use of hand gestures in ballet and illustrates with a scene from Adam's "Giselle" and Stravinsky's "Apollo"; Villella describes how the choreography for a dance work is preserved by being passed from dancer to dancer; and Villella and McBride perform a segment from Stravinsky's "Rubies."

 

 

http://www.paleycenter.org/




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