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Never Stand Still: Dancing at Jacob's Pillow


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Product Details

  • Actors: Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Suzanne Farrell, Mark Morris, Judith Jamison
  • Directors: Ron Honsa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007TBM9ZW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,488 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Legendary dancers and choreographers Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Suzanne Farrell, Mark Morris, Judith Jamison and Bill Irwin appear alongside new innovators to reveal the passion, discipline, and daring of the world of dance in NEVER STAND STILL.

Filmed at the iconic Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, this thrilling documentary features amazing performances by world-renowned dancers interwoven with intimate interviews, behind-the scenes insights, and rare archival footage.

Founded in the 1930s by visionary dance pioneer Ted Shawn on a farm in the Berkshires, today the Pillow is an idyllic mecca for artists and audiences from around the world, a place where dance in all its forms - from ballet to jazz to contemporary - is studied, created, performed and celebrated. Like Wim Wenders's PINA, NEVER STAND STILL immerses us in the lives of extraordinary artists and the power of dance.

Review

An exhilarating, award-winning documentary featuring every kind of dance form imaginable in rapid, kinesthetically gripping visuals. --Andrea Pflaumer, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
Wonderful teaching tool.
Pamela J. Cohen
There are a number of bonus features though, wile interesting, none of them exceeds two-minutes in length, so the DVD contains about 90-minutes of material.
Steve Ramm
If you like dance try it, if you love dance it is a must see!
A. Schroeder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Ron Honsa's dynamic new documentary "Never Stand Still" is a must-see proposition for lovers of dance. And if you don't appreciate the art form (what's wrong with you!), this just might make you a convert. At only 74 minutes in length, there are so many performances included--you'll wonder how they got them all packed in there! The film tells the history of Jacob's Pillow from its inception in the thirties to the popular dance festival held today. While I consider myself conversant in the world of dance, I'm ashamed to admit that Jacob's Pillow was new to me. I'm never as smart as I think I am! Established on a farm in Becket, Massachusetts, Ted Shawn originally used the location to experiment with raising the profile and acceptance of males in the sport. Over time, though, the farm became an beacon to dancers and choreographers from around the world. It is a school of sorts, a workshop, and a place to explore new possibilities. And the resultant dance festival has become an extraordinary annual event open to the public.

"Never Stand Still" does a good job establishing the legacy and import of Jacob's Pillow. Though old photographs and archival footage, the evolution of this dance mecca is well established. A lot of the history is provided by interview subjects well known to the artistic community that performed or choreographed at the Pillow, and many are still actively involved. But as interesting as this history lesson is (and it is interesting), it is nothing compared to the number of contemporary performances that we're allowed to enjoy. Honsa's astute decision to make this film all about the dance really pays off! International dance troupes share space and time in the film with legendary choreographers and modern pupils.
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Format: DVD
This is another fine dance documentary being released by First Run Features in their "dance series" (their "Food series" is also great with docs about restaurants). Like the "Joffrey Ballet" DVD I reviewed just a few days ago, the subject here - The Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires of New England - was a name a knew, but not much else. I now feel I understand the history and the purpose. And I discovered a few dance companies and choreographers who were new to me. I highly recommend this to those interested in modern dance.

Not to repeat info you will learn in this 77-minute film, I'll only provide a bit of it. Founded in the 1930s by dance pioneer Ted Shawn as a place where male dancers could hone their craft, the farm property had it's first indoor theater in 1942. (It was the first theater devoted sole to dance.). Every year important modern dance companies from around the globe come to Jacobs Pillow to create and rehearse a new piece which is then debuted a week or two later at the festival.

Director Ron Honsa scored high in getting choreographer Bill T. Jones to narrate the film, though - honestly - much of the film is self-narrated by the choreographer that Jones interviewed. And what an impressive list that is: Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Bill Irwin, Suzanne Farrell, Judith Jamison, and Mark Morris. A virtual "Who's Who" of modern dance. We see excerpts (all too brief - but the fill is only 77 minutes long ) by each choreographer and their company.

There are a number of bonus features though, wile interesting, none of them exceeds two-minutes in length, so the DVD contains about 90-minutes of material.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Luva on January 5, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have often asked myself the question as to, if I were offered a choice of which sense I would prefer to do without, which one would it be. When I see documentaries like this, I know it could not possibly be my sight. Not only because I would not be able to engage my love of the visual arts but also, because I would not be able to see (and hear - since music is for the most part, critical) "the dance". This documentary gives us a snap shot into why dance, as an art form, effectively vies for top spot. The venerable prima ballerina, Suzanne Farrel, put it something like this "The world is not perfect, because if it were, we would all play an intrument but because it is not perfect, we need to see dance to be reminded of our humanity.."
I grew up reading about and seeing works performed by Judith Jamison, Suzanne Farrel and Merce Cunningham. A host of dancers and choreographers, including Farrel, Jamison and Cunningham, are featured in this documentary about the legendary dance festival at Jacob's Pillow, in Massachusetts, USA, the subject of this documentary. The various forms of dance that find their expression at this festival evidence the ever evolving face of dance and human achievement in that art form.
I was captivated from start to finish and accordingly, I recommend this unhesitatingly to the novice and seasoned dance fan alike - to anyone interested in understanding why Art is a gift from and to the Divine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra on May 9, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film provides a very broad perspective on why dance is such a passion ... for both the participants and the audience. Jacob's Pillow is a place where real magic happens. Thank you.

A.P.
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