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Case Number 20251: Small Claims Court

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Dancing Dreams

First Run Features // 2010 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 4th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum says, "Now is the time on DVD Verdict when we dance!"

The Charge

"I'm not interested in how people move, but in what moves them."—Pina Bausch

The Case

Pina Bausch is a famed German choreographer who developed a style of movement that was called a "dream dance." She pioneered expressionistic art in her field and became a master of the modern form. Bausch was in part American trained and studied at Julliard in New York City during 1960, but Germany was her home and her passion. She worked with filmmakers such as Pedro Almodóvar and Federico Fellini choreographing works for them to use in their movies. She was larger than life at all times and passionate. Dancing Dreams chronicles a period in her life when she mentored forty teenagers who had no idea who she was to create a piece called Contact Zone. Barely one year later in 2009 Bausch was diagnosed with and died from cancer within five days, and so this film becomes a testament to her legacy. It is comprised mainly of the students talking about the experience, and we watch Pina direct them to explore, to play, and to learn how to dance. It is a remarkable opportunity for them, and a very special documentary film experience about the joys of learning from a master.

The DVD features a clean widescreen transfer that captures a clean well-lit image. The entire feature is in German with English subtitles. Extras include two interviews with Bausch from this decade, a written biography of her work, and a text version of director's notes. There is also a photo gallery as well as trailers for other dance films from First Run Features. The documentary is the main event, and the supplemental material just feels like a nice add-on that really don't embellish on the feature.

Pina Bausch leaves a huge legacy of movement and expression in her wake. This film offers a rare glimpse into how she worked, but more importantly how she influenced the next generation of German dancers. The kinds from Dancing Dreams will never forget her or what they learned from Pina Bausch. It is incredible to be able to watch it all on a documentary DVD. The crux of the film is to watch creativity awaken and blossom, and to see young artists go from doubt to self-assurance. And it's Germans dancing…a lot like Sprockets but without the black turtlenecks and monkeys.

The Verdict

Guilty of making me want to put on a black turtleneck and dance.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 88

Perp Profile

Studio: First Run Features
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (German)
• English
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Performance

Distinguishing Marks

• Interviews
• Biography
• Director's Notes
• Photo Gallery


• IMDb

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