Lou Patane and Karen Lynn Gorney in Behind the Wall. Still courtesy Bat-Sheva Guez.

The Genre-Defying Short Dance Film You Didn't Know You Needed in Your Life

Behind the Wall is not your average dance film. It follows Katrin (Alexandra Turshen), a dancer who has very recently retired after an injury (she's still in a CAM walker), as she moves into an old apartment building in Brooklyn in an attempt to shut away her old life. Lying awake listening to the radiator rattle, she discovers worlds of movement just on the other side of her bedroom's crumbling plaster—scenes of delight and melancholy that dissolve with the light of day.

Filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez has created a 16-minute film that is part magic and part ghost story, but also an ode to Brooklyn and a character study of a dancer coming to terms with a life that isn't quite what she planned. Check out the teaser below, and head to the film's official site to view it in its entirety.

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Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

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