Divertissment: Everyday Dancers' Stories
Industrial Strength Film
Now Showing at: Cincinnati Art Museum auditorium on July 22
Review by: Larry Thomas
Upon graduating from CCM's Electronic Media Department, Cincinnatian Ed
Lippman knew his future involved movies and television. After working in these
mediums in the Midwest, Lippman moved to Los Angeles in 1991, and racked up credits
on such films as Ed Wood and Minority Report, and TV shows like
ER, The X-Files and The Closer. He has completed his
first feature-length documentary film, which will be having its premiere today
and tomorrow here in Cincinnati.
Divertissment: Everyday Dancers' Stories is a heartfelt look at five
amateur ballet dancers, all women, ranging in age from 40 to 61. The five are
from all over the US and come together at a professionally run "ballet
camp" for adult dancers. They have either come to dance late in life,
or returned to dance after a lengthy absence.
Among them are a teacher who flies her own plane, a systems analyst, a research
analyst, and two stay-at-home moms, one of whom home schools her children. While
their lives are good, they've reached a point where something is needed
for their own personal fulfillment. And for these five, their "something"
The film manages to balance the back-stories with the ballet camp so that it
never feels draggy, and that we get a good sense of what drives these women.
There is no narration, allowing them to tell their stories in their own words.
And the use of music is quite adept, ranging from original music written expressly
for ballet classes, to a song by Over the Rhine. A couple of the camera angles
and character setups are close to becoming documentary clichés, but other
shots are quite imaginative, as is the editing.
A good documentary can do many things. First, and foremost, it will take you
someplace new. You can meet people that may inspire you to do something different,
or even change your life. It may aid you in understanding diverse points of
view. And… just like in a good fiction film… it will entertain you.
Divertissment: Everyday Dancers' Stories manages to accomplish all
of these quite admirably.
And this film may even encourage you to follow suit with a dream or idea or
a long-neglected passion of your own. It's well worth seeing.