Synopsis by Mark Deming
Jock Soto spent 24 years as a principle dancer with the New York City Ballet Company, and was often praised as one of the finest male dancers in the world, as well as an especially gifted collaborative performer. However, Soto came to his art from an unusual place -- he was born on a Native American reservation in Arizona to a Navajo mother and a Puerto Rican father. When he was five years old, Soto was transfixed by a television broadcast of The Nutcracker and decided he wanted to study classical dance. Wanting to learn ballet in the macho environment of an Arizona reservation was all but unheard of, but Soto's parents supported their young son's dreams, driving him into town for dance lessons until he was 14, when he went to New York City to study at the School of American Ballet and never came back. Filmmaker Gwendolen Cates explores Jock Soto's life and art as he retires from dance at the age of 40 in her documentary Water Flowing Together, which touches upon Soto's ties to his culture, his life as a gay man, and the difficult choice of leaving behind the world of dance that has been his life since he was a teenager. Water Flowing Together received its world premiere at the 2007 Silverdocs Film Festival, a festival for documentary cinema sponsored in part by the American Film Institute.