Dance On Film: Never Stand Still
A film by Ron Honsa.
The Dance on Film series is presented by Bud Werner Memorial Library, Perry-Mansfield and Steamboat Dance Theatre. The free screening includes an introduction by dance history professor and Perry-Mansfield Executive Director Joan Lazarus.
"Highly recommended!" - The New York Times
"Exhilarating! To thrill lovers of movement, whether amateur or advanced." - The Village Voice
"An exhilarating documentary featuring every kind of dance form imaginable in rapid, kinesthetically gripping visuals." - San Francisco Examiner
"Wittily, visually demonstrates the wild muscularity of contemporary dance—and why we no longer giggle at men in tights." - Film Journal
About Never Stand Still
Never Stand Still transports the viewer into a world of non-stop movement, live performances, and candid interviews with artists, as it reveals the story of “the Pillow.”
In 1931, during The Great Depression, modern dance pioneer and choreographer Ted Shawn purchased an abandoned New England farm that had once served as a station on the Underground Railroad, as a retreat for his company of Men Dancers – a radical idea at the time. Today, Jacob’s Pillow is considered “the dance center of the nation” (The New York Times) and a destination for thousands of artists and audience members, encompassing an international Festival, professional School, and rare Archives .
“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. Never Stand Still is a love letter to a rare place and the artists who dare to express the inexpressible through movement,” says Director Ron Honsa
Never Stand Still immerses the viewer in the world of dance through entertaining interviews with dancers and choreographers, backstage access, rare archival footage from the 1930s and 40s, and thrilling HD performances by internationally renowned dance companies including: 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.
Intimate and candid interviews offer personal portraits of choreographers and dancers. Suzanne Farrell, one of the great ballerinas, recalls some of her first performances; Tony Award-winner Bill Irwin marvels at the physical humor of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton; celebrated dancer Rasta Thomas discusses his ‘bad boy’ image; former Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo star Frederic Franklin recalls the early days of the Pillow, where Joseph Pilates taught his now ubiquitous body-strengthening methods, and when “there were no ladies to be lifted;” and Mark Morris talks about his love of music and explains, “I like to say that my work—it’s not for everyone, it’s for anyone.”
Paul Taylor, Judith Jamison, Joanna Haigood, Marge Champion, Anna-Marie Holmes, Shantala Shivalingappa, Jomar Mesquita, and Nikolaj Hübbe share personal stories and views on their art form; and in one of his last filmed interviews, the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham reveals why dance “is not for the timid.”
Watch the trailer
Run time: 78 min.
About the film's commentator
Joan Lazarus served as Executive Director of Oakland Ballet, General Manger of Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center, and Executive Director of WestWave Dance, an annual festival of new choreography presented in San Francisco. Joan has performed with or in the works of Alonzo King, Cliff Keuter, Ellen Bromberg, Victoria Morgan, Krissy Keefer, Frank Shawl, Bill DeYoung, Toni Pimble, Richard Colton and Alan Ptashek. She taught at the University of Oregon, Mills College, San Francisco Ballet, Dance Circle of Boston, The Princeton Ballet, RoCo Dance & Fitness, and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and co-authored the Dance Curriculum Guide adopted by the San Francisco Unified School District. She received Bay Area National Dance Week’s Contribution to the Field of Dance Award in 2006, and in 2012 she received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement. Lazarus was named 2011 Dance MVP by the San Francisco Chronicle. Joan joined the staff at Perry-Mansfield in June 2012.
About Dance On Film
This 2013 Dance On Film series is presented by Bud Werner Memorial Library, Perry-Mansfield and Steamboat Dance Theatre. Perry-Mansfield celebrates its 100th anniversary as the oldest continuously operating arts camp in the United States this year. Steamboat Dance Theatre is a community dance organization presenting its 41st annual concert March 14-16, 2013, in addition to year-round dance scholarships and education programs in Yampa Valley schools and throughout the community. This collaborative and educational dance film series features free screenings of the hottest new dance documentaries along with the finest classic dance films from a variety of genres filmed throughout the ages.