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Filmography - Dance: Home

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011

Filmography - Dance, General

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011. 

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (


Aaron Copland A Self-Portrait. 1 streaming video file (58 min.). Copland himself is the key explicator of his own extraordinary musical career, from piano lessons in Brooklyn and study with Nadia Boulanger, a fling as a wild-eyed modernist, and finally to his preeminence in the American musical world. The program features a wealth of Copland music, including ballet sequences with Agnes de Mille dancing in Rodeo and Martha Graham in Appalachian Spring, scenes of Copland conducting, and interviews with Leonard Bernstein and Ned Rorem, who said of Copland, He invented out of whole cloth what it means to be American.Written by Vivian Perlis and produced by Ruth Leon. Streaming video.

African dance: Sand, drum and Shostakovich. Ethnographic video online. 2004. 1 streaming video (70 min.). A documentary exploring African contemporary dance featuring eight modern dance companies from Africa, Europe and Canada, as well as interviews with dance historians. Streaming video.;764084

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 199. 1 videodisc (103 min.). In this two-part program, members of Ailey's dance company celebrate his memory by performing three works choreographed by Ailey himself, as well as a special ballet tribute choreographed by Ulysses Dove. DVD 408.

America dances! 1897-1948 a collector's edition of social dance in film. 2003. 1 videodisc (79 min.). Includes 60 historical dance film clips from the first part of the 20th century in the United States, recording changing dance trends, expertise, and taste, and reflecting United States culture through the years. This dance retrospective spans the panorama from average Americans dancing in newsreels to top quality performers who have left a legacy of dance moves across the ballroom floor. DVD 757.

Antony Tudor a film. 1992. 1 videodisc (60 min.). Tudor revolutionized ballet by replacing princes and princesses with ordinary people who display universal human emotions. In this documentary Tudor speaks about his work - as do Agnes de Mille, Nora Kaye, Sallie Wilson, Margaret Craske, and Martha Hill. Interspersed with their interviews are excerpts of Tudor classics: Dark elegies, Pillar of fire, Jardin aux lilas, Romeo and Juliet, Judgment of Paris and Undertow, among others. Historical black-and-white sequences of Nora Kaye, Hugh Laing, and Sallie Wilson in principal roles are juxtaposed with footage of later interpreters. Finally, Tudor is shown rehearsing and talking about one of his last works, The leaves are fading. DVD 6296 and VHS 1667.

Bill T. Jones: Dancing to the promised land. Dance series: Dance series (View Video). 2004. 1 videodisc (60 min.). Takes a look at Bill T. Jones' life and work. DVD 5714 and VHS 3015.

Bill T. Jones Still/Here. 1997. 1 streaming video file (57 min.). What is it like to live with a life-threatening illness? Can fear, anger, and joy be translated into movement? In this program, journalist Bill Moyers and filmmaker David Grubin give viewers a rare glimpse into dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones's highly acclaimed dance, Still/Here.At workshops around the country, people facing life-threatening illnesses are asked to remember the highs and lows of their lives, and even imagine their own deaths. They then transform their feelings into expressive movement, which Jones incorporates into the dance performed later in the program. Jones demonstrates for Moyers the movements of his own life story-his first encounter with white people, confusion over his sexuality, his partner Arnie Zane's untimely death from AIDS, and Jones's own HIV status. My job,Jones tells Moyers, is to evoke the spirit of survival.(57 minutes). VHS 5565 and Streaming video.

Blank Canvas: Sydney Dance Company and the Making of We Unfold. 2009. 1 streaming video file (52 min.). Streaming video.

Carmen & Geoffrey: The extraordinary lives of dancers Carmen de Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder. 2009. 1 videodisc (80 min.). An intimate and revealing documentary that follows the careers of Carmen de Lavallade, a dynamic dancer and choreographer from California, and her husband Geoffrey Holder, an actor, dancer, choreographer, and theater director. Filmed in the United States, Trinidad, and Paris, and featuring interviews and dance performances with legends such as Alvin Alley, Herbert Ross, Lester Horton, Joe Layton, Duke Ellington, and Josephine Baker. DVD 7156.

Dance Black America. 2007? 1 videodisc (87 min.). Celebrating the evolution of black dance, the film documents a four-day festival of dancers and dance companies held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1983. VHS 1030 and DVD 6024.

Dance for camera. 2003? 1 videodisc (95 min.). Presents six short dance films from the 2002 Dance Camera West festival. Reines d'un jour features six tumbling bodies on mountain slopes of the Alps, caught between heaven and Earth, among the cows and the villagers. In Measure, a relationship emerges between a man and woman that is revealed as much through their eyes as through the expressive timing of their rhythmically intricate steps. In Rest in peace bizarre behavior and past secrets emerge as four siblings bury their parents. The Village trilogy, inspired by the displacement and destruction of World War II, returns to the physical language of early cinema to evoke the power of the spirit. Cornered is a black and white film that redefines gravity as an attractive force of right angles. Contrecoup depicts an urban environment torn by violence, disorder, and loneliness where the light is sinister, daily life is hostile, and sleep is a nightmare. DVD 1502.

Erick Hawkins' America. 1988. 1 videodisc (58 min.). Film focuses on Hawkins' choreography based on American themes: mythical America in "Plains Daybreak," inspired by Indian ritual; nostalgic America in "Hurrah!"; and epic and historical America in segments from "Ahab," based on "Moby Dick" and "God's Angry Man," following the life of abolitionist fanatic John Brown. Also includes "Classic Kite Tails" and an excerpt from "Black Lake." Hawkins also speaks about the events in his life that were most influential. VHS 2976 and DVD 6872.

Every little step. 2009. 1 videodisc (93 min.). For over three decades, there's been one singular sensation: A Chorus Line. This groundbreaking hit musical inspired by the emotional lives of dancers during the audition process. Now the story comes full circle and offers a revealing, unprecedented look at the auditions for the Broadway revival of the perennial classic. The music, the moves and the real-life drama, bringing you closer to the footlights than you ever thought possible. DVD 6894.

Finding your own voice in dance. 2004. 1 videodisc [120 min.]. This program includes step-by-step instruction that guides dance students from conception to performance. DVD 957.

For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf. 2002? 1 videodisc (80 min.). Intimately involves the audience in the lives of American black women by means of dialogue, dance and music. VHS 34 and DVD 5688.

Fosse. Dance in America: Great performances: Great performances (WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)). 2001. 1 videodisc (127 min.). A tribute to the man behind such favorites as "Cabaret," "Chicago," "Sweet Charity," and "Pippin." A mixture of physically aggressive dance moves and dazzling visual style, Bob Fosse's approach to theater revolutionized how we experience music and dance, while his mixture of cynicism and sentiment remains timely decades after his death. Join one of Fosse's most gifted collaborators, Ann Reinking, as she and a wild, gyrating cast take you through such memorable standards as "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries," "Steam Heat," "Mein Herr," and the unforgettable "Big Spender." DVD 1501.

The freshest kids a history of the b-boy. 2002. 1 videodisc (120 min.). Looks at the history and phenomenon of b-boys. Talks about the originators and the innovators, what the forces were that inspired break dancing and made it into the art form of today. Includes segments of many performances by a variety of performers. DVD 541.

Gaja Gamini. 2000. 1 videodisc (122 min.). The film, an operatic ballet, moves between illusion & reality. It depicts the journey of a woman called Gaja Gamini, suspended in time and space along with a variety of characters from art, history, music & poetry. These characters, voicing the aesthetics of feminine beauty, are points of reference and interact with each other on the essence & identity of woman. DVD 315.

Giselle-From the Royal Opera House. 2008. 1 streaming video file (110 min.). A tale of deception, misplaced love, and supernatural vengeance, Giselle reaches into the heart of European folklore and the ancient connections between dance and spirituality. This exquisite production by the Royal Ballet features the original choreography of Marius Petipaâ p8 s (3 )4y (Bperhaps the most influential ballet master and choreographer in the history of Western performance, whose Giselle contributions enhanced those of Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, great artistic figures in their own right. Rising-star principals Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg appear, respectively, in the title role and as Count Albrechtâ p8 s (3 )4y (Bechoing their off-stage partnership with elegant and moving performances. (1 hour 49 minutes). Streaming video.

Les Indes galantes. Opera in video. 2005. 1 streaming video (244 min.). Exuberant production of Jean-Philippe Rameau's 1735 opera presenting four exotic love stories. Streaming video.;592278

Jerome Robbins something to dance about. 2009. 1 videodisc (113 min.). In a life that inspired controversy, no one disputes the place that Jerome Robbins holds as the preeminent director/choreographer of American musical theater. Features excerpts from Robbins' work, including never-before-seen rehearsal footage, and interviews with many of his colleagues. DVD 5566.

Lord of the dance. 1999. 1 videodisc (93 min.). Michael Flatley takes to the stage in a stunning Celtic dance spectacular which re-tells Irish folk legend in a dazzling and updated style. VHS 2292, 4445 and DVD 5678.

Martha Graham dance on film. The Criterion collection: Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs). 2007. 2 videodiscs (93 min.). A dancer's world: Martha Graham discusses the dancer as a creative artist, as members of her dance company illustrate her theories in a dance choreographed by Miss Graham. Woven into the movements of the dance are all the basic techniques required by the modern dancer. Appalachian spring: a ballet depicting the wedding day of a pioneer couple. Night journey: Martha Graham's interpretation of the Oedipus legend, depicting the moment of Jocasta's death. DVD 7974.

Martha Graham in performance. 2002. 1 videodisc (91 min.). A dancer's world: Martha Graham and the Martha Graham Dance Company perform a series of short dances, interspersed with commentary by Graham and writer Leroy Leatherman. Appalachian spring: "An American folk tale of a young pioneer, his bride, and a wandering revivalist preacher with a band of followers. The dance tells of the couple's wedding, the building of their home, the preacher's dire sermon, and the woman's gentle blessing as the couple begins a life in the wilderness"--Container. Night journey: "Martha Graham's retelling of the legend of Oedipus, danced by Miss Graham as Jocasta, Paul Taylor as Tiresias, and Bertram Ross as Oedipus"--Container. DVD 5687.

Merce Cunningham a lifetime of dance. 2001. 1 videodisc (ca. 90 min.). "Merce Cunningham has performed and choreographed modern dance for over fifty years....This in-depth profile explores Cunningham's prolific career from his earliest successes to recent works such as Occasion Piece....Featuring new and archival performance footage, the film also includes exclusive interviews with dancers, collaborators and the master himself"--Container. DVD 406.

Merce Cunningham collection. Volume 1. 2003. 1 videodisc (81 min.). Camera space presents a challenge. It has clear limits, but it also gives opportunities of working with dance that are not available on the stage. The camera takes a fixed view, but it can be moved. There is the possibility of cutting to a second camera which can change the size of the dancer, which, to my eye, also affects the time, the rhythm of the movement. It also can show dance in a way no possible on the stage: that is, the use of detail which in the broader context of theatre does not appear. Working with video and film also gives me the opportunity to rethink certain technical elements. For example, the speed with which one catches an image on the television made me introduce into our class work different elements of movement concerned with tempos which added a new dimension to our general class work behaviour. DVD 8189.

Les paladins comédie-ballet en trois actes. Opera in video. 2005. 1 streaming video. Streaming video.;593337

Paris is burning. 2005. 1 videodisc (76 min.). A documentary about the young homosexual men of Harlem who originated "voguing" and turned these stylized dance competitions into glittering expressions of fierce personal pride. A story of street-wise urban survival, gay self-affirmation, and the pursuit of a desperate dream. DVD 1650.

Planet B-boy Breakdancing has evolved. 2008. 1 videodisc (95 min.). Set in the international world of B-boying - the urban dance more commonly known as 'breakdancing.' Weaving between the vivid backdrops of Osaka, Paris, Seoul and Las Vegas, unforgettable images frame the intimate stories of dancers who struggle for their dreams despite being misunderstood by the larger society and even their own families. An American dancer in Vegas looks for his big break; a Korean son seeks his father's approval; a twelve-year-old boy in France confronts his family's racism. All the dancers lives collide in Germany where their skills are put to the ultimate test: the "Battle of the year" finals, with crews from 18 nations vying for the title of World Champion.--Container. DVD 7716.

Rize. 2005. 1 videodisc (ca. 84 min.). An intimate, completely fresh portrayal of inner city youth who have created art where before there was none. Surrounded by drug addiction, gangs and impoverishment, they have developed a completely unique style of dance, krumping, that evolves on a daily basis. DVD 1734.

The Spirit moves a history of Black social dance on film, 1900-1986. 2008. 3 videodiscs (118 min.). Jazz dance from the turn of the century to 1950: "Filmed at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem in the 1950s, Part 1 features demonstrations of ragtime and jazz dances by well-known artists at the Savoy, including James Berry, Pepsi Bethel, Teddy Brown, Sandra Gibson, Leon James, Al Minns and Frankie Manning.  Dances in Part 1 include the Cakewalk, Charleston, Black Bottom, Suzie Q, Shake Blues, Gutbucket Blues, Trunky Doo, Big Apple, and some aerial Lindy Hop" -- Container. Savoy Ballroom of Harlem, 1950s: "Part 2 features footage of dancing by the general public... [including] Al Minns and Leon James.  Dances in Part 2 include Bebop, Lindy, Shim Sham, Charleston, and an aerial Lindy contest for the Harvest Moon Ball Championships"--Container. Postwar era: "Filmed at P.S. 28 (Brooklyn) and at the Palladium (New York), Part 3 features dances from the 'Bebop Era'.  Dances in Part 3 include the Flying Harlem Home Style, Bebop improvisations, the Mambo and an Applejack Challenge.  Prominent dancers in Part 3 include Teddy Brown, Sugar Sullivan, Jack Asquiew, Leroy Appens, Tandaleo and Jackie" -- Container. DVD 7181-7183.

Spotlight on Careers in the Arts. 2007. 1 streaming video file (18 min.). How do three talented individuals translate their unique artistic sensibilities into action? This program explains. Section one focuses attention on Jacques d'Amboise, one of the world's finest classical dancers and founder of the National Dance Institute, which exposes thousands of inner-city school children to the magic and discipline of dance. Section two introduces viewers to Andre Andreev and Dan Covert, lead designers for many of MTV's premiere award shows and the founding duo of high-profile graphic design shop Dresscode. (18 minutes). Streaming video.

The State of the Arts in America's Schools. 2000. 1 streaming video file (29 min.). As cuts in federal and state funding continue to erode support for public school fine arts programs and field trips, opportunities for children to experience the visual arts, music, dance, and theater are disappearing. In this documentary, Kerry Bennington, of the Krasl Art Center, and other concerned experts trace the evolution of the arts in America and enter into the debate over whether the fine arts are an educational asset or an elitist diversion of scarce resources from core curriculums. (29 minutes). Streaming video.

Steppin'. 2005. 1 videodisc (56 min.). Presents an overview of step dancing and the college "step-show" in Indiana. With cultural roots that stem from traditional African dancing, military marching and contemporary hip-hop music, step-shows have evolved into an African-American art form.  Most often performed in talent competitions, 'stepping" has become a dynamic form of entertainment on the college campus.  It is also a way for members of black fraternities and sororities to show pride and express devotion to their organization. VHS 5358 and Streaming video.,134

Stravinsky Devil's Dance from A Soldier's Tale and Vivo and Finale from Pulcinella. 1996. 1 streaming video file (15 min.). This energetic program illustrates how unpredictable rhythms punctuate musical pieces, and how different instruments are used to create the effect. The orchestra dissects the two Stravinsky pieces line-by-line, illustrating the composer's use of stark rhythm changes to achieve wondrous musical special effects. (15 minutes). Streaming video .

Stravinsky et les Ballet russes Stravinsky and the Ballets russes. 2009. 1 videodisc (85 min.). In celebration of the debut of the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1909, this wonderful Stravinsky evening at the Mariinsky Theatre showcases the original Nijinsky version of The Rite of Spring for the first time on DVD along with The Firebird, both conducted by Valery Gergiev. Thanks to the relentless work of Millicent Hodson, Nijinsky's original choreography has now been recreated, performed by the lead dancers and Ballet Company of the Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre conducted by Valery Geriev, known the world over for his interpretation of Stravinsky's works. DVD 7513.

Stravinsky's Rite of spring. Keeping score. 2006. 1 videodisc. Music director Michael Tilson Thomas and the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony go from the salons of St. Petersburg to the villages where Stravinsky found inspiration in the earthy power of Russian folk music and dance.  Thomas then retraces Stravinsky's journey to the cultural crossroads of pre-war Paris, where the composer collaborates with the great impresario Diaghilev and his star dancer Nijinsky to develop the shocking, erotic, and violent evocation of pagan Russia that became The Rite of Spring.  Includes a live performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and music from The Firebird by the San Francisco Symphony, with Thomas conducting. DVD 2364.

Strictly Bolshoi Creating a New Ballet-A Documentary. 2007. 1 streaming video file (50 min.). Produced by former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, this documentary takes viewers inside the creative process of British choreographer Christopher Wheeldonâ p8 s (3 )4y (Band the immense challenges he faces in bringing a new piece to life for Russias Bolshoi Theatre. Wheeldons initial idea of presenting Hamlet as a ballet arouses great interest, but when he ventures into more abstract territory, principal dancer Nicolai Tsiskaridze sulks, feigns illness, and eventually drops out of the project. Managerial and design difficulties arise as well, but with renewed enthusiasm from other dancers and the unanticipated involvement of the filmmakers themselves, Wheeldons work emerges as a triumph. Part of the series Strictly Bolshoi. (Portions in Russian with English subtitles, 50 minutes). Streaming video.

Trisha Brown early works 1966-1979. Artpix notebooks. 2004. 2 videodiscs (239 min.). Disc 1 features Trisha Brown, a choreographer of contemporary dance, who is instrumental in changing the limits of modern dance. In the 1960s Brown created works which attempted to defy gravity and challenge dancers to experiment with the dynamics of stability. Her search for her own style in dance and the formation of her own company in 1970 showcase her unique ideas of movement. This DVD presents of Brown's major performances -- Disc 2. presents a conversation between Trish Brown and art historian, Klaus Kertess, in which she reminisces about her early years, her works and the creation of her characteristic style. Includes excerpts from various dances. DVD 7967.

Viva la dance : The beginnings of ciné-dance. Unseen cinema : early American avant-garde film, 1894-1941: Unseen cinema. 2005. 1 videodisc (155 min.). "Dance and film have shared the aspiration to creatively sculpt motion and time"-- DVD 4187.