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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Charlene Gehm MacDougal as Lead Nursemaid in Petrushka. Photo by Herbert Migdoll, courtesy the MacDougal family.

In Memoriam: Joffrey Dancer Charlene Gehm MacDougal, 69

Former lead dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, Charlene Gehm MacDougal died of ovarian cancer on January 10 at her home in New York City, age 69.

Gehm illuminated the inner life of each of the varied characters in her extensive repertoire. Whether she was the gracious hostess in George Balanchine's Cotillon, the riveting Lady Capulet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, or in the tumult of William Forsythe's Love Songs, she drew the viewer's eye and heart to the essence of the role.

As Forsythe puts it: "Charlene was certainly one of the most elegant dancers I have had the privilege to work with. Her striking countenance flowed into her work and, joined with her wicked sense of humor and intelligence, created thoughtful, mesmerizing and memorable art."

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February 2021