T.M. Rives’s documentary follows Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman during the development of his new Swan Lake production for the Norwegian National Ballet. Rarely has there been such intimate access to the creative process; viewers are offered interviews with the opera house’s army of artists and workers as they construct costumes, sets, and even a lake on which the intrepid dancers rehearse, splashing and sliding. Every aspect of this unique production is documented, including the composition of a new score. As challenges mount, the choreographer maintains a playful mood that keeps everything humming when it is not collapsing. While the final performance is unseen, Ekman’s Swan Lake was a triumph and nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2014.
Dunja Jocic & Marinus Groothof, Netherlands, 2015, DCP, 17m
Dunja Jocic and Marinus Groothof’s short tells the story of a young boy’s relationship to his pet bird and to his opera diva mother, who leaves him on his own to play, dream, and possibly get into trouble. New York Premiere