Merrill Ashley is remembered as one of New York City Ballet’s reigning ballerinas—a leading interpreter of Balanchine roles famous for her racehorse speed and purity of style. After 30 years with the company, Ashley retired in 1997, having sustained numerous injuries during her tenure. Ron Steinman’s candid portrait raises the question, “What next?”—a dilemma so many dancers face when the body no longer works to their standards. The documentary catches Ashley in career crisis as she copes with her loss and plans her next steps, making her way from a farewell performance to rounds of doctors’ appointments, workouts, and teaching duties. A voyage of self-discovery with the ballerina as guide, The Dance Goodbye Is a treasure trove of personal photos and performance videos that bring a brilliant career to vivid life. A First Run Features release.

Screening with:

Loughlan Prior, New Zealand, 2014, DCP, 13m
A dance narrative set against the backdrop of New Zealand’s coastline, Loughlan Prior’s David features two parallel storylines that examine the title character’s young life and those he has come to share it with. U.S. Premiere

  • Ron Steinman
  • 2015
  • USA
  • digital projection
  • 56 minutes