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Born To Fly

What is the difference between stunt-work, circus acts, ballet, and physical labor? Testing the limits of space and physical contact, this documentary follows choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her dancers as they take on different forms of experimental movement and explore the philosophy of their performances.

Schedule
May 26, 2014
Monday
5:30 PM SIFF Cinema Uptown Date has passed
May 28, 2014
Wednesday
4:30 PM AMC Pacific Place 11 Date has passed
June 6, 2014
Friday
1:00 PM SIFF Cinema Uptown Date has passed

What’s the difference between stunt-work, circus acts, ballet, and physical labor? Testing the limits of space and contact, Catherine Gund’s newest documentary boldly follows choreographer and ‘Evel Knievel of Dance’ Elizabeth Streb and her company as they take on different forms of experimental movement, and explore the philosophy of their performances. For more than 30 years, Brooklyn-based Streb has been interested in inventing motion—with the idea of flight as a major touchstone. The effects of gravity, math, and physics are forcefully imposed upon the traditional dance vocabularies in her work. “A question like: ‘can you fall up?’ That is the bedrock of my process,” Streb told BOMB Magazine in 2010. The result is a Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic slant to modern dance conducted primarily using harnesses and other apparatus that allow dancers to scale walls, dodge beams, and drop from great heights. These are presented as ‘Extreme Action Events,’ and Streb’s dancers seem willing to risk it all in service of her highly controlled vision. Dancer DeeAnn Nelson actually breaks her back in performance. As Gund’s exploration of these powerful (and power) dynamics comes to a close, footage of ‘One Extraordinary Day’-a performance which used the London Eye as a playground to open the 2012 Olympics-brilliantly encapsulates the risk and beauty put forth in the company’s work.

Director Biography

Catherine Gund is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and organizer. Her media work focuses on arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, the environment, and other social justice issues. Her films have screened around the world in festivals, theaters, museums, and schools. Gund’s most recent project, What's on Your Plate?, is a critically-acclaimed multi-media project about kids and food politics, featuring a documentary, book, and curriculum.

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Director: Catherine Gund
Country: USA
Year: 2014
Running Time: 82 minutes
Producer: Catherine Gund, Tanya Selvaratnam
Cinematographers: Kirsten Johnson, Albert Maysles, Ian McAlpin
Editors: Alex Meillier
Music: Adam Crystal
Website: Official Film Website
Filmography: What’s On Your Plate? (Doc, 2009); A Touch of Greatness (Doc, 2004); Making Grace (Doc, 2004); Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance (Doc, 1998)
Language: English
Format: HDCAM
US Distributor: Aubin Pictures
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