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Life In Movement
Australia 2011
Directed by Bryan Mason / Sophie Hyde
Running time 80 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Lia McCrae-Moore
4 stars


Life In Movement is an exquisitely executed feature length documentary. Bryan Mason and Sophie Hyde have created a passionately moving and profoundly touching story about life, love, death and dance.

Only weeks prior to commencing her position as the new artistic director at the Sydney Dance Company, the internationally renowned choreographer Tanja Liedtke dies in a road accident. To honour her memory and inspiring vision, 18 months later her partner/creative producer Solon Ulbrich and dance troupe embark on a world tour showcasing her most powerful work.

The film seamlessly weaves together deeply personal testimonies with extraordinary dance sequences.  Tanja’s home videos are spliced into interviews with Liedtke's collaborators, family and friends, giving us a great taste of the vital essence of the woman. Her life is caught on camera, from her mesmerising choreography to the fluctuating vulnerability and strength of her unique character. I was completely drawn into the inner world of Tanja and her art although the more of her that was revealed to me, the more glaringly obvious and distressing did I feel her absence.

In many ways, this film is an ode to Tanja and her creativity, a eulogy of sorts. Everyone on the tour and in the film is still dealing with the shock, the grim reality of their situation, with the loss of their child, friend, colleague or lover. Together, they desperately try to make some sense of this profound tragedy. Watching this unfold I was simultaneously captivated and haunted. In one scene in particular, I had a bloody good cry. To me, this is testimony of a great film. For, while crying in the cinema can be a bit embarrassing it can also be a great form of emotional catharsis, a deep movement of our own life’s emotions. For me, Life in Movement was just that, a beautiful rendition of a life in motion.

 

 

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