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Dancing Across Borders Reviews

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Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Have you ever listened to someone delightedly telling you a story and not realizing how badly he comes off in his own tale? That's the queasy sensation I got from the documentary Dancing Across Borders.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 1/4

May 21, 2010
Aaron Cutler
Slant Magazine

The film spends an inordinate amount of time with people talking about what a good dancer Sy is, as opposed to showing him actually dancing.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

March 25, 2010
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Informative and flavorful, though lacking in surprise, since Sar's evident sweetness and talent seem to be guiding him to acclaim from the beginning.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/5

April 6, 2010
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com

As subjects for documentaries go, a dancer who hasn't really done a whole lot with his life so far isn't, on paper, the most arresting story you can tell

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 3/5

March 25, 2010
Michelle Orange
Village Voice
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We get white folks ruminating lyrically on the peasant Asian's role as a kind of grand jeté bridge between East and West, and long performance sequences that are dazzling to behold but quite troubling to contemplate.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 24, 2010
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Sometimes with documentaries, the best intentions have a way of making decent people look bad. Dancing Across Borders is a dismaying case in point.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

April 22, 2010
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Less than an hour and a half long, it seems to take forever to end.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2/4

June 3, 2010
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Inspiring but not inspired...

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

March 26, 2010
Sarah Kaufman
Washington Post
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Do-gooder vanity projects don't come more self-aggrandizing than this.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/4

April 30, 2010
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest

It's a rare film that gives viewers the opportunity to watch an artist-in-training pretty much from square one, and "Dancing Across Borders" does just that.

Full Review Source: Movie Dearest | Original Score: B

April 16, 2010
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Dance fanatics will appreciate the story, as will fans of cross-culturalism in the arts. Let's leave all mention of exploitation of the exotic for another time and place.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

May 4, 2010
S. James Snyder
Time Out New York
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An illuminating profile but a sloppy snapshot of the immigrant experience, Anne Bassâ(TM)s documentary charts the rise of Cambodian Sokvannara Sar on Americaâ(TM)s ballet stages.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

March 24, 2010
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper

You may want to strangle Bass with her couture capris, but Borders eventually becomes the inspirational film you suspect it meant to be all along.

Full Review Source: Washington City Paper

April 30, 2010
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

An astonishing documentary about a young male ballet performer from Cambodia who has startled and amazed the dance world with his bold leaps and incredible grace.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Original Score: 3/5

March 24, 2010
James Plath
Movie Metropolis

This is a film that ought to be watched by all youngsters hoping for a career in dance.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 7/10

December 31, 2010
Janos Gereben
Entertainment Insiders

The film is a wonderful mix of ballet rehearsals and performances, the saga of a young artist's struggle and success, and a personal story of dealing with cross-cultural conflict and resolution.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders | Original Score: 3/4

April 25, 2010
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
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Offered only hints of life away from the barre or of Sy's relationship with his coolly poised benefactress, viewers will see either a very fortunate young man or a beautiful protégé, dancing as fast as he can to please everyone but himself.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 26, 2010
David Wiegand
San Francisco Chronicle
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There are times when the subject of a documentary transcends merely adequate filmmaking, and that is very much the case with Dancing Across Borders...

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

April 30, 2010
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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In carefully edited clips from his Cambodian years (brief mention is made of Pol Pot's devastating influence), as well as later performances in the United States, Bass demonstrates his stunning leaps and graceful partnering.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

April 8, 2010
Jeffrey Gantz
Boston Phoenix

Twyla Tharp calls him "remarkable," and watching him do Harlequin in Balanchine's La Sonnambula, you can see why: he might not be a born ballet dancer, but he's a born performer.

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Original Score: 3/4

April 21, 2010
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