Dancing: Sex and Social Dance, The Individual and Tradition

Two 1-hour films for a major Public Television series on world dance. The Individual and Tradition follows Twyla Tharp as she creates a dance with New York City Ballet dancers Damian Woetzel, Susan Jaffee and others. Sex and Social Dance looks at social dance in the United States, the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, and Morocco. The film shows how cultural attitudes about coupling and gender are reflected in the way men and women dance with one another.

Sex and Social Dance

Synopsis

Sex and Social Dance illustrates the attitudes towards sex and gender implicit in Western Ballroom Dance, in the segregated social dancing of the Muslim culture of Morocco, and in the group dances of the Cook Islanders of the Pacific. Entertaining and often amusing, it explores a serious question—why dances that seem to be considered the height of refinement in one culture strike another culture as “indecent.”

Credits

Producer / Directors: Ellen Hovde & Muffie Meyer
Host: Raoul Trujillo
Writers: Lora K. Myers, Ronald Blumer
Story by: Rhoda Grauer
Field Producer: Smokey Forester
Directors of Photography: Tom Hurwitz, USA; Christine Burrill, Morocco; Richard Lerner, Cook Islands
Editor: Susan Fanshel
Associate Producer: Susan Kipp
Executive Producer: Rhoda Grauer

The Individual and Tradition

Synopsis

When Isadora Duncan started swirling in tunics, gauze and sandals at the beginning of the 20th century, she began the modern dance movement. Individual choreographers like Katherine Dunham, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, Eiko and Koma and others have completely changed the world of dance. It has become, in the Western world, a medium for personal expression. In this program, Twyla Tharp discusses these changes, and her own mix of the techniques of traditional ballet and modern dance – in her words, the worlds of “the shod and the unshod”. According to Tharp, “modern dance is not less, it’s more. It’s everything that came before, PLUS.”

Credits

Producer / Directors: Ellen Hovde & Muffie Meyer
Host: Raoul Trujillo
Writers: Ronald Blumer, David Boorstin
Story by: Rhoda Grauer
Field Producer: Smokey Forester
Director of Photography: Tom Hurwitz
Editor: Alison Ellwood
Executive Producer: Rhoda Grauer

Reviews

Lively and provocative.
Scott Albright, All Movie Guide