Synopsis by Mark Deming
In his first year as the new conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle set out on an unusual project -- in a bid to engage the community and expose classical music to people who otherwise might not be interested, Rattle joined forces with choreographer Royston Maldoom to stage a special performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with a cast of 250 dancers recruited entirely from the city's public schools, none of whom had a previous background in classical dance or music. Thomas Grube and Enrique Sanchez Lansch are a pair of documentary filmmakers with a love of music who tagged along to document this experiment, and Rhythm Is It! is a record of how this project changed the lives of those who participated. As Rattle sets out to teach his young charges the importance of music, Maldoom shares with the children his passion for dance and how he came to ballet relatively late in life as the youngsters slowly coalesce into a dance ensemble. Rhythm Is It! was screened as part of the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival.
choreographer, classical-music, community, conductor [music], dance [art], experiment, music-appreciation, project [plan]