A still from Dancing Dreams. Courtesy OVID

Need Some Back-to-Studio Inspo? Take Your Pick from These 8 Dance Docs, Now Streaming on OVID

If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.

Starting August 23, OVID, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its library. The best part? There's a free seven-day trail. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)

From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you:


Carmen & Geoffrey

Way before #relationshipgoals was a thing, Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder were exemplifying them. Dive inside the legendary careers and five-decade marriage of this dynamic duo in Carmen & Geoffrey, featuring archival footage from as early as the 1950s. The couple's collective performing and choreographic careers spanned Broadway, film, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and much more.

Ballerina

Onstage, we see classical ballet's glamour. Behind the scenes, it's about sweat, discipline and rigor. Ballerina shows viewers both perspectives, focusing on the careers of Mariinsky luminaries Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Ulyana Lopatkina, Alina Somova and Evgenia Obraztsova.

Ballet Boys

Follow three rising dance talents over four years as they prepare to enter the professional ballet world. While Ballet Boys is a story of sacrifices, it's also a portrayal of teenage friendship shared by Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Syvert Lorenz Garcia and Torgeir Lund.

Dancing Dreams

Pina Bausch fans, this one's for you. Dancing Dreams retells the 10-month process when Bausch staged her Kontakthof on 40 teenagers in 2008. Be a fly on the wall during rehearsals with the late master.

Dream Girls

Though Dream Girls was originally released in 1993, its story of Japan's Takarazuka Revue, a musical theater company, is equally intriguing today. Thousands of girls apply to attend the competitive Takarazuka Music School annually. Their ultimate goal? To join the prestigious Revue, where they have the option to perform male or female roles.

Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter

A must-watch for all dance majors, Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter explores the life of Martha Hill, a pioneering figure for dance in academia and Juilliard's founding director of dance.

Secundaria

For many young dancers, training at the illustrious National Ballet School in Cuba is a dream. But for locals, it may also be an escape from poverty. Secundaria follows one high school class through their training, with a special focus on Mayara Pineiro, who's now a principal at Pennsylvania Ballet.

The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen

The late Angela Bowen's life was truly multifaceted: She grew up in Boston during the Jim Crow era, married and had children, divorced, and came out as a lesbian. Along the way, she started a dance studio, was a professor of English and women's studies and became a dedicated gay rights activist.

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Moving Forward by Looking Back: A Week at the L.A. Tap Festival Online

I turned to tap at the outset of the European lockdown as a meaningful escape from the anxiety of the pandemic. As a dance historian specialized in dance film, I've seen my fair share of tap on screen, but my own training remains elementary. While sheltering in place, my old hardwood floors beckoned. I wanted to dig deeper in order to better understand tap's origins and how the art form has evolved today. Not so easy to accomplish in France, especially from home.

Enter the L.A. Tap Fest's first online edition.

Alongside 100 other viewers peering out from our respective Zoom windows, I watch a performer tap out rhythms on a board in their living room. Advanced audio settings allow us to hear their feet. In the chat box, valuable resources are being shared and it's common to see questions like, "Can you post the link to that vaudeville book you mentioned?" Greetings and words of gratitude are also exchanged as participants trickle in and out from various times zones across the US and around the world.

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