Reel Dance Resonates

Nathaniel Christopher Arthur [Peterborough, Ont.] Volume 38 Issue 20

Movies about dance–not just on Bravo at 3 am anymore! On Friday, February 20, Peterborough New Dance hosted “Reel Dance on the Road: Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video” at the Gordon Best Theatre. The evening’s colourful mosaic of local, national, and international dance film included several noteworthy works.


Essentially a home video, Elevation is nothing more extraordinary than three or four kids running around on a beach, dancing and playing music with driftwood, and a mother relaxing in a floral summer dress, pushing a button marked ‘elevation.’ Refreshing, innocent and fun, this piece reminds us of the little dancer in all of us. Making excellent use of sunlight and the colours yellow, pink and blue, Elevation is the perfect prelude to summer.

Mirror Image

This film features two dancers: one inside a red and black house, resembling the set of a 1980s music video, and one outside in the rain. They move mostly in unison, occasionally pausing to observe each other, but never talking or touching. The cheesy storyline and terrible music make it all but impossible to focus on the choreography. One audience member confessed that she had a hard time holding in her laughter when she heard the “thump” of synthetic drums–they sounded like something out of an old Ron Jeremy video.

B-Girl and the Butterfly

I like this one–It looks like a short clip of someone having a good day, accompanied by uplifting and reassuring music. The film’s dialogue consisted of an answering machine message, which sounded like words of encouragement and support from B-Girl’s boyfriend. You hear his voice as she travels around the city in her car and dances alone in her sun-filled apartment.

Hasta La Proxima

This film is about love, pure and simple. More precisely, it is love between a man in a firefighter’s uniform and a woman in a green slip. This film is extraordinary because you do not have to know a thing about dancing to understand it. Dancers fall, float and fly. Every movement is expressive and intense to the point that no words or props are needed.


A disturbed woman lies on a bedroom floor, remembering dancing and diving with a lady in a red dress. Her memories of beautiful scenes filled with light and vibrant colours stand in stark contrast to the very grey and dull reality of her house, her room and the sky. With a heavy box in tow, she puts on her coat and red high-heels and makes a hasty exit from her house. After a grueling haul through the mud, she makes her way to cliffs by the seaside, walks out onto the pier, takes her coat off and wraps herself up with some cords. At first I thought she was going to blow herself up but instead, as she plugged in, I realized that she was wrapped in Christmas lights. The last scene shows her shining triumphantly against the night sky.

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, who has been blogging here for nearly 25 years. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings on my own online platform. From 1998 until 2017, I worked as a journalist, and I have posted most of my articles in the 'News' section of this website.