Dance On Film ~ American Bellydancer
A film by Jonathan Brandeis.
Four of the country’s most innovative choreographers combine the grandeur of America’s iconic preserved landscapes with the art of the camera...an on-location dance spectacular in America's national parks.
The Dance on Film series is presented by Bud Werner Memorial Library, Perry-Mansfield and Steamboat Dance Theatre. The free screening includes an introduction by dance history professor and Perry-Mansfield Executive Director Joan Lazarus, and Jasmir Bellydancer Meg Widmer.
About American Bellydancer
In the 1970s and '80s, Miles Copeland became a force in the music industry by taking paths other folks wouldn't follow; he helped bring new wave rock to the top of the charts as manager of the Police (and later guided Sting's solo career) while also running the IRS Records label, which helped edgy acts such as the Go-Go's, R.E.M., Wall of Voodoo, and Fine Young Cannibals reach mass-market success.
Following the dawn of the new century, Copeland was searching for a new challenge, and looked to the Middle East, where he spent time as a child (his father was attached to the CIA). Copeland struck upon the notion of bringing Middle Eastern music and dance to the West with a show that would present belly dancing in a theatrical context, much as Riverdance had done for Irish music. However, Copeland's dream was neither a sure thing nor simple to realize; many of his performers were torn between a desire for greater recognition and fears of seeing their culture trivialized and distorted in the interest of the marketplace, while many Western audiences were not immediately receptive to Middle Eastern art in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Documentary filmmaker Jonathan Brandeis followed Copeland as he assembled his troupe, the Bellydance Superstars, and put them on the road, and American Bellydancer offers a glimpse of this sometimes difficult merger of art, culture and commerce.
Run time: 88 min.
About the film's commentator
Joan Lazarus served as Executive Director of Oakland Ballet, General Manger of Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center, and Executive Director of WestWave Dance, an annual festival of new choreography presented in San Francisco. Joan has performed with or in the works of Alonzo King, Cliff Keuter, Ellen Bromberg, Victoria Morgan, Krissy Keefer, Frank Shawl, Bill DeYoung, Toni Pimble, Richard Colton and Alan Ptashek. She taught at the University of Oregon, Mills College, San Francisco Ballet, Dance Circle of Boston, The Princeton Ballet, RoCo Dance & Fitness, and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and co-authored the Dance Curriculum Guide adopted by the San Francisco Unified School District. She received Bay Area National Dance Week’s Contribution to the Field of Dance Award in 2006, and in 2012 she received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement. Lazarus was named 2011 Dance MVP by the San Francisco Chronicle. Joan joined the staff at Perry-Mansfield in June 2012.
About Dance On Film
This 2013 Dance On Film series is presented by Bud Werner Memorial Library, Perry-Mansfield and Steamboat Dance Theatre. Perry-Mansfield celebrates its 100th anniversary as the oldest continuously operating arts camp in the United States this year. Steamboat Dance Theatre is a community dance organization presenting its 41st annual concert March 14-16, 2013, in addition to year-round dance scholarships and education programs in Yampa Valley schools and throughout the community. This collaborative and educational dance film series features free screenings of the hottest new dance documentaries along with the finest classic dance films from a variety of genres filmed throughout the ages.