Images on the Move For Dance on Camera 2008

Dancers on toe, hanging from hooks, blooming in deserts

From stage to kitchen: dancer Jock Soto in the film 
Water Flowing Together
Gwendolen Cates
From stage to kitchen: dancer Jock Soto in the film Water Flowing Together

Details

Dance on Camera 2008
Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th Street
212-496-3809
Through January 19

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Fine movies of stage dancing are rare. But Vadim Derbenyov and Yuri Grigorovich's take on the latter's ballet Spartacus (a 1975 film restored to wide-screen splendor in 2007) improves upon the stage version. Not only do we get close-ups of such Bolshoi stars as the magnificent Vladmir Vasilyev, Natalya Bessmertnova, Maris Liepa, and Nina Timofeyeva, but the somewhat cheesy choreography is enhanced by cuts, dissolves, double exposures, and camera angles. We don't see the valiant leader of a Roman slave rebellion rush toward the lens to attack amassed soldiers—their hulking backs fill the screen instead. A cut, timed to a climax in Aram Khatchaturian's score, then reveals his body held aloft on a pillar of crossed spears. That's movies, folks.

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