This season, the Northrop Film Series will take you on a whirlwind tour of the world in fictional dramas and non-fiction documentaries that connect directly or thematically to the dance companies we’re presenting at Northrop in the 2019-20 Dance Series. We are also opening up new avenues by taking the film series on the road in collaboration with the Trylon Cinema.
The globetrotting begins in New York City and Long Island of the 1920s in the classic 1974 adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Come early for a pre-screening lecture by professor of Art History Dr. Robert Silberman and then see Pittsburgh Ballet Theater perform their ballet version of this iconic jazz age tale live on the Carlson Family Stage.
Staying in New York and fast forwarding in time for Tap, starring Gregory Hines, will connect you to a direct though line in the history of tap dancing with featured veteran tap dancers who each made their mark on the art form. It also stars a young Savion Glover, who would go on to invite future MacArthur Genius Michelle Dorrance to become a founding member of his group Tii Dii and join the cast of his show Stomp in 2007. You’ll be able to experience Michelle Dorrance’s own company perform her piece Myelination live the following week.
In Calvary, we travel to Ireland and meet a good-hearted priest whose life is thrown into chaos when a parishioner makes a dire confession. That moment sets the film up to explore themes you will also find in Teac Damsa’s dark Swan Lake/Loch na hEla.
If you’re already feeling a bit like Carmen Sandiego or Rick Steves, hang on because the next stop is the South Pacific nation of Samoa for a heart-wrenching and beautifully nuanced story. The Orator explores Pacific Island culture and themes of masculinity and social power dynamics that can also be found in the work of Samoan choreographer Neil Ieremia and his company Black Grace. You may need to pack some tissues for this experience.
All of that only gets you through the Fall!
In January when you return from your own winter holiday travels, the Film Series will put you in a time machine so that you can come with us on a magical mystery tour of the cult 1978 film version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This presentation will be at Trylon Cinema in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, enabling us to screen the film on digital cinema projection equipment, which is a first for the Northrop Film Series. This cult classic will prepare you for Pepperland, Mark Morris’ own psychedelic tribute to the Beatle’s iconic album.
Perhaps then, you’ll take the Concorde over to Paris and join us back at Northrop’s Best Buy Theater for the screening of George Balanchine Forever. Filmed during the Paris Opera Ballet’s 2006 production of Jewels, this fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary will give you an alternative perspective on the piece prior to Ballet West’s live performance.
With The Hate U Give we return to the United States and to an opportunity to boost the hard-hitting message of this film based on Angie Thomas’ award-winning novel. Both the film and the book explore many of the same social issues that Kyle Abraham also examines in choreography with his company, A.I.M.
For a completely different artistic perspective on dance as social commentary in post-World War II America, you’ll have to take a red-eye up the coast from Garden Heights back to New York. You won't want to miss The Wrecker’s Ball destroying Danceland in this gem from the Paul Taylor Dance Company archives.
Travel again in time to when suffragists agitated for the right to vote. Iron Jawed Angels dramatizes the story of Alice Paul and the other members of the National Women’s Party in their final push to get Congress to pass the 19th Amendment, which pairs directly with Martha Graham's The EVE Project.
The Dazzling Light of Sunset, a documentary that follows a local news team as they report on events in their rural Georgian town is a unique and acerbic peek into life in this former soviet satellite and the home of the final company in the Dance Series, The State Ballet of Georgia.
The end of your round-the-world cinematic journey may take you across the globe to Georgia, but you will be able to experience all of this from the comfort of a movie theater courtesy of the Northrop Film Series.
Shayna Houp is Northrop's Artist Services Manager and curates the Film Series each season.