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Dancing at Raindance

Posted on September 10, 2017

COVER Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer still 1

Look out for dance documentaries at Raindance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the UK. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, this year’s Raindance includes films about Marcelo Gomes, Wendy Whelan and the Trocks, alongside international features, shorts, a webfest and more.

Directed by David Barba and James Pellerito, Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer follows American Ballet Theatre star Marcelo Gomes (pictured), taking the viewer from his childhood in Brazil to international success. It particularly celebrates Gomes’ love of partnering, his support for his ballerinas – those appearing in the film include Veronika Part, Dorothée Gilbert, Polina Semionova and Diana Vishneva. It will be shown at London’s Vue West End on September 21 and 25. See Zoë Anderson’s 2015 interview with Gomes here.

Restless Creature, directed by Adam Schlesinger and Linda Saffire, is a portrait of New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave the company for the next new stage of her career. It will be screened on September 26 and 28.

Rebels on Pointe celebrates the all-male Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Bobbi Jo Hart’s documentary looks at the company’s origins, its identity as a gay company founded not long after the Stonewall riots, and its international success today. The film includes performance footage and interviews with stars Robert Carter, Raffaele Morra and Chase Johnsey, who won the Dancing Times award for best male dancer at the 2016 National Dance Awards. It will be shown on September 24 and 27.

All three films are UK premieres. To see the full programme, and to book tickets, visit

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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