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Made in 1980, this film explores the contemporary dance scene through the work of seven New York-based choreographers. They discuss the nature of dance and the evolution of their own work. Filmed at rehearsals, performances, and during interviews, the film is a unique primary source. The artistic roots of these seven artists can be found in Martha Graham's concern with modern life as a subject for dance and in Merce Cunningham's emphasis on the nature of movement. In the 1960s, the interaction of art forms generated choreographic innovations. Especially influential was John Cage, whose radical ideas served as a point of departure for much of the new choreography.
Five former breakdancers reflect on their youthful rites of passage through the vibrant UK Hip Hop scene of the early 1980s and how it allowed them to escape the confines of life on inner city housing estates.
As the wild energy of the scene burned out their adolescent dreams met the realities of adulthood. But the scene had a lasting legacy on their lives - once a B Boy, always a B Boy... and then a tragic event gives them an unexpected chance to recapture the past.
Although Butoh is often viewed as Japan's equivalent of modern dance, in actuality it has little to do with the rational principles of modernism. Butoh is a theatre of improvisation which places the personal experiences of the dancer on center-stage. The dancer is used as a medium to his or her inner life, but not for the portrayal of day to day existence. A Dionysian dance of nudity, eroticism, and sexuality, Butoh's scale of expression ranges from meditative tenderness to excessive grotesqueness. By reestablishing the ancient Japanese connection of dance, music, and masks, and by recalling the Buddhist death dances of rural Japan, Butoh incorporates much traditional theatre. At the same time, it is a movement of resistance against the abandonment of traditional culture to a highly organized consumer-oriented society. An alliance of tradition and rebellion, Butoh is one of the most fascinating underground dance movements.