Thursday, 21 May 2009

SIFF Review: Dancing Across Borders

Seattle Weekly

By Brian Miller

Wednesday, May. 20 2009

The story of Sokvannara Sar, who began performing traditional Khmer dance in Cambodia as a child; who was discovered by filmmaker Anne Bass, who sponsored his studies at New York's School of American Ballet; and who was brought by Peter Boal from there to apprentice with (2006) and join the corps of (2007) Pacific Northwest Ballet. And with that, I'm afraid I've just spoiled the movie for you. One can hardly blame Sar for not having had a harder life, but this doc is completely drama-free. He's greatly talented, but is he unusually talented? And aren't there lots of dancers with backstories just as interesting? The dance footage is pleasurable and deftly edited (especially a scene of Sar dancing a Philip Glass piano piece with the composer at the keyboard, intercutting rehearsal and final-performance clips), but there's acres of it—because, you eventually realize, there's not much else to say about this guy. For dance geeks only. (NR) GAVIN BORCHERT SIFF CInema: 7 p.m. Mon., May 25 and 4:15 p.m. Tues., May 26.


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