If you’ve ever marveled at the grace and discipline of dancers and the passion they have for their art, Peninsula College’s showing of the documentary Never Stand Still on October 26 will bring you a little closer to understanding their world and what ultimately drives them to perform. The film will begin at 7:00 pm in Maier Performance Hall.
In Never Stand Still, the viewer is treated to several intimate and candid interviews with choreographers and dancers that provide personal portraits of their lives and careers. These are combined with rare archival footage from the 1930s and ‘40s, behind-the-scenes insights, and HD performances by such internationally renowned dance companies as the Mark Morris Dance Group, Chunky Move (Australia), Stockholm 59° North (Sweden), Shantala Shivalingappa (India), Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark), Mimulus Dance Company (Brazil), Zaccho Dance Theatre and Paul Taylor Dance Company. The result is compelling and riveting.
A few of the legendary dancers and choreographers who are interviewed include Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Suzanne Farrell, Mark Morris, Judith Jamison and Bill Irwin. They appear alongside new innovators of the art form to talk about dance and what it means to them, as well as to those who not only dance but enjoy it for the pleasure it brings to those who watch dancers perform.
Never Stand Still was filmed at the iconic Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, which was founded in the 1930s by visionary dance pioneer Ted Shawn on a farm in the Berkshires. Today, it is a National Historic Landmark and America’s longest running international dance festival which draws artists and audiences from around the world to celebrate dance in all its forms, from ballet to jazz to contemporary.
The documentary was directed by award-winning producer and director Ron Honsa and is narrated by Tony Award-winner and Kennedy Center honoree Bill T. Jones.
Honsa has called his film “a love letter to a rare place and the artists who dare to express the inexpressible through movement.” In an interview with the “Berkshire on Stage” website, he also said: “From the youngest dancers in this film to the legendary masters, it was obvious to me that a deep and creative vibration has always resonated at Jacob’s Pillow. This mighty international dance festival captured my heart many years ago.”
The film received the Best Documentary award at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, and Andrea Pflaumer of the San Francisco Examiner was lavish in her praise of the film: “An exhilarating, award-winning documentary about Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, featuring every kind of dance form imaginable in rapid, kinesthetically gripping visuals.”
Marsha McCreadie of Film Journal International added her praise when she wrote on May 17 that Never Stand Still “wittily, visually demonstrates the wild muscularity of contemporary dance—and why we no longer giggle at ‘men in tights.’”
The film is cosponsored by the Port Townsend Film Institute.
Admission to the film is $5 general; Peninsula College students will be admitted free-of-charge with a current student ID.
The next film in the series is Maria Tallchief, which will be screened November 2nd.