Artists In Exile: A Story of Modern Dance In San Francisco (2000)

Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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A documentary look at the vibrant San Francisco dance community, which has been traditionally overshadowed by its more high profile New York counterpart. Focusing on local, postmodern dance pioneers who have been active since the 1960s, co-directors Austin Forbord and Shelley Trott give screen time to artists ranging from dance scene doyenne Anna Halprin -- who played a crucial role in the evolution of a groundbreaking countercultural dance aesthetic -- to such dance troupes as the radical Wallflower Order/Dance Brigade and the gay-positive Mangrove. Due attention is also paid to the continuing influence of Sara Shelton Mann, whose Contraband ensemble revolutionized dance trends during the 1980s. In addition to focusing on the movers and shakers of San Francisco's dance community, the documentary also takes time to recognize the societal and cultural forces that have shaped it, including gender and sexual politics, the huge talent loss brought about by AIDS, and the neglect -- and sometimes outright hostility -- of critics at the national and local level.