If the Dancer Dances

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Total Count: 14


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IF THE DANCER DANCES invites viewers into the intimate world of the dance studio. Stephen Petronio, one of today's leading dance-makers, is determined to help his dancers breathe new life into RainForest (1968), an iconic work by the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham. With help from three members of the former Cunningham company, the film tracks Petronio's dancers as they strive to re-stage this great work, revealing what it takes to keep a dance -- and a legacy -- alive. Timed to coincide with Cunningham's centennial, IF THE DANCER DANCES is the first documentary on the subject of Cunningham's work since his passing in 2009.


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Critic Reviews for If the Dancer Dances

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (1)

  • The film may not compare to seeing RainForest in its purest form, live and sans context, but no matter: dance nerds and visual art obsessives will find much to appreciate.

    Aug 16, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Modern dance devotees and fans of legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham will find much to appreciate in the lovingly crafted documentary "If the Dancer Dances."

    May 3, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Although repetitive at times and, like so many show business documentaries, displaying a tendency toward self-congratulation, the film will prove fascinating for dance buffs.

    Apr 25, 2019 | Full Review…
  • As Wechsler allows rehearsal scenes to play out at length, the perfectionism of dancer-to-dancer lessons becomes improbably poignant.

    Apr 25, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Director Maia Wechsler and her editor Mary Manhardt stayed on point with a difficult editing job to make this film hang together. It is almost too repititious...If you're not into dance particularly modern dance, this might not be for you.

    May 9, 2019 | Full Review…
  • I found the film fascinating.

    May 3, 2019 | Full Review…

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