A Life in Motion


Ian Brownell and Webb Wilcoxen’s A Time To Dance (Anthology, August 19–22 and 27–29) is a family affair, initiated by a young man whose mother’s life was changed by dance therapist Norma Canner. Narrated by Ruby Dee, their collage of old footage, new talking-head interviews, still photographs, and videotapes of workshops is really a Festschrift celebrating Canner’s life. Now 80, she gave up a career in “the left-wing theater” and on Broadway
to have a family. After encountering groundbreaking creative-dance teacher Barbara Mettler, she
herself began teaching, developing approaches to
movement with disabled children. Now in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she works with people like Anne Brownell, adults blocked and miserable who, through Canner’s attention, recover lives of function and pleasure. Mrs. Brownell, the film’s executive producer, now assists Canner; her son Ian and his codirector have assembled a leisurely tribute that respects figures rarely noticed in the swirl of metropolitan media.

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