Everyday Activist - Dancer (CIFF 2016)

Posted on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Movie: Dancer

Dancer (CIFF 2016)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

The Mona Lisa no matter where someone finds it, would always have that beautiful mysterious quality about it. Sergei Polunin has that same quality where even in a poorly made documentary (but decent biopic), he shines brightly. Gabrielle Tana makes good films. I enjoyed the Duchesse and Philomena. Why yes, both are biopics. She doesn’t understand the nature of dance or the power of documentary film making. If you’ve read my column before I’ve reviewed some fantastic documentaries on dancing, that highlighted how these visionaries changed and continue to change our world. Even at 26 years old, Sergei Polunin is in that same category, so why not capitalize on how his style and desires affect dancing.

The whole “This is your life Sergei Polunin” form of the documentary was a complete waste of his talent.
For any dancer watching this, the story is the same for everyone. Parents want what the best for us so they push and we push ourselves until we find out whether or not it’s our own truth. She didn’t need to spend so much time his childhood. He’s the youngest male principle at the London Ballet. To earn and keep that spot he needed to have both discipline and talent. Then to go to Russia as an unknown and do it again means he had passion for it too. Dancing strips us of all our masks as we lay our souls bare for the audience to judge. If the audience responds favorably, it means we have exposed our most vulnerable selves for judgment. When that occurs, especially at such a young age with inadequate support, bad things will happen.

Ballet is known for destroying people. As beautiful an art form many people have suffered from bulimia and anorexia as well as over work, injuries etc. All of these injustices could have easily been addressed within context of the film, because Sergei suffered too. Drugs, alcohol and tattoos were his outlets for coping with all this stress which is not uncommon in young men. How he dealt with problem was nothing short of miraculous. Starting over in Russia and then after his “final” dance in the US going back to Russia perform for free takes a unique strength of character. Now he’s working on Project Polunin, which wasn’t even mentioned in the film. To prevent other dancers from suffering the way he did, Polunin started a project to collect lawyers, agents and other infrastructure that other industries such as sports and acting have.

Some best writing advice I received was from my editor Chris at CalgaryMovies.com. He told me to write about things that someone couldn’t just look up. That’s how I felt about this film. Tana could have taken more time to explore Polunin’s inner motivations and highlight his project which would help so many people rather than waste time making a boring biopic of an extraordinary human being. I do recommend watching this film, because it’s about Sergei Polunin. He’ll shine no matter what. I just wish the film maker knew more about dancing and the power of documentaries. Hopefully, you’ll be able to catch it today, Sunday Sep 25, 4:15 pm At Cineplex Eau Claire 4.

Calgary Showtimes: 17th Calgary International Film Festival 2016 > |  Dancer >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.