7 April 2017 | christian94
Polina is pure art and passion
A modern dance piece like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly used to do in the 1940s and 1950s. Instead of the magical musical and dance acts, Polina is grounded in contemporary realism , but the magic comes from the process of perfecting one's art and pursing one's passions. I walked in this movie by accident and stayed by curiosity, sitting next to a kind movie-goer who was there for a purpose - and on purpose. I asked her briefly what this was about and she seemed to know what she was in for, and it intrigued me enough to give it a try. She also happen to ended up enjoying it immensely as we spoke more after the experience,
Not a particular dance aficionado myself, having seen a mere dozen of ballets and modern dance performances, I was impressed with Wim Wenders'homage to Pina Bausch in his beautiful daring documentary of modern dance. In Polina, neither dancer nor choreographer is at the centre, but rather dance itself, the collective dancers and their lively creations. This fiction grounds you first in the characters and their passion for life, themselves and art, namely dance in various forms, and thus amplify the artistic achievements that is stellar in its own right with emotions, conflict and conviction. Polina is because of this much better than Pina (2011) can ever be, as good as the dance choreography, venues and performances are in Wenders Academy Award nominated film.
Polina starts in Russia with what may seem a typical ballet banality, but quickly evolves into a change from Eastern to Western Europe, but an internal change, brought by challenges and exploration of one's love, limits, power, purpose and potential. The journey is unexpected and worthwhile, where failures or dead ends are seen as progress and positive understanding of a beautiful world of creators where this is no right or wrong. Beauty emerges from these discovery and Valérie Müller films the process with powerful scenes and engaging visual organic ordinary beauty.
The last dance is the ultimate gateway into the gorgeous world of dance and is much simpler but more powerful and beautiful than for example the famed American in Paris ballet at the end of American in Paris (1951) The editing and emotional tie-in to Polina's past and possible future elevates the deciding audition dance into a euphoric endeavour of love and possibilities.