3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
David Byrne (from Talking Heads) and Modern Dance: PERFECT Together!,
This review is from: David Byrne: Ride Rise Roar (DVD)
This is once "concert DVD" that really took me by surprise. But a VERY pleasant one! I have only seen David Byrne play on music videos by his former band Talking Heads and in the Jonathan Demme filmed TH concert "Stop Making Sense". So I expected a "making of a concert" film when I popped this DVD into my player. Was I ever wrong!
I'm a big fan of modern dance and attend a lot of performance by modern dance groups. If you are a dance fan, you'll definitely want to see this film.
The concept of the project being documented in this film is the 2008 tour that Byrne put together after his new album of David Byrne-Brian Eno songs was finished. Byrne chose three young modern dance choreographers to choreograph the songs - both old TH standards like "Burning Down The House" and "Once In A Lifetime" along with newer compositions. He then auditioned to find three young dancers (two women and a man). But it wasn't just the three dancers who are dancing in this film - pieced together from three performances in California, Virginia and Albany, NY. The three backup singers (some of who also play instruments) get dance as well. (You can see from the brief rehearsal footage included that this really was - as one puts it - "boot camp" for them.)
In one clever number the dancers, singers and Byrne (who also does some wonderful dance moves as he sings and plays) sit on moving chairs through the full number. This is contrasted with the audience who were watching in a "standing only" venue!
The rehearsal footage is seamlessly edited with the concert footage making the production even more exciting. And the "talking interview" sections are brief allowing you to watch this as a concert film on repeat viewing.
I must admit that I loved TH's performances and Byrne and Eno's music but never quite understood the meaning of the lyrics. One of the choreographers says the same thing and reveals that she only thought of the rhythm. Then near the end - in a short interview with Byrne and Eno - Byrne reveals that the words "have no real meaning. Like the music (he) uses them for effect!".
While some Byrne music fans may gripe that a song or two was missing from this concert tour, the film will appear to a wider audience, opening up his music to the large audience for modern dance. And maybe it will convince some TH fans to check out a modern dance performance in their area. Not a bad idea!