Performing Arts: Dance
February 8, 2023
Colors saturate the screen in Leslie Shampaine and Pip Gilmour's Call Me Dancer, the opening night program for the 2023 Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center. Scheduled for four days from Friday, Feb. 10 - 13; shorts, full length films, and conversations on the mechanics and creative pursuits of videotaping dance fill the roster along with the closing night screening of a dance classic: Flashdance.

A few sparkling highlights include Manas Sirakanyan’s documentary feature Top Nine: A Story of the B-Boy Crew, about an internationally renowned break dance crew, and Swedish filmmaker Emil Dam Seidel’s short film SHE, about the exploration of identity, highlighting issues and perspectives from diverse regions.

Part documentary, part feature film, Call Me Dancer, the opening night feature centers the immense talent and struggles of a young male, Indian street dancer who discovers the rigors of ballet.

Born of a working family, Manish is seduced by street dance. One day, he passes dancers spilling out of an inner-city dance academy where he snares a scholarship. Instead of accommodating his parents wishes and going to college, Manish bears down on a grueling dance regime overseen by a hard-bitten, seasoned Israeli ballet teacher, Yehuda.

Despite the parents' concerns about the professional prospects facing a male dancer (what parent doesn't share that same angst) Manish's sage grandmother embraces his dream and lobbies on behalf of his career choice.

Large personalities fill a part of the world overflowing with more than 2000 years of culture ultimately producing "a sea of talent." In the opinion of Yehuda, ballet--the most complete technique--is essential to the study of all global dance.

Naturally Manish's voyage takes him to dance companies in America where he auditions for a chance to be called "a dancer."

A compelling tale of perseverance, passion and friendship, filmmakers Leslie Shampaine and Pip Gilmour forge a deeply personal investment in their subject. No question, Call Me A Dancer will be a festival favorite.
Screening Feb. 9
EYE ON THE ARTS NY -- Celia Ipiotis

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